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  #1  
Old 04-29-2004, 11:42 PM
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My tortured mind asks.......

Please read the stream of consciousness below and let me know what you all think.....

I put City of Fear by FM (bought last week) in the CD player. I'm in the car, thinking, "no one has ever heard of these guys", but a lot of people have heard of Ben Mink without realizing it (k.d. lang or Rush).

Anyway, "Krakow" comes on - love that tune. I'm reading the CD (not paying any mind to the road), and mentally note that I know three other tunes really well. They are the title cut, "Surface to Air", and "Nobody At All". The reason I know these so well is that I used to record cassettes of favorite songs by bands. Sometimes one tape per band, sometimes mixed tapes. I'd give them goofy names or simple alliterations. The tape I made with these songs was "FM Favs".

I realize I can't remember the other songs. I have not played an album for five years, at least, and this was not really played for at least 15. When I was in college I wore the vinyl out of this record, but have forgotten a lot from those days! I also apparently have lent my record to someone to burn (a year ago!) and this bootleg CD has no info of any value. So I'm guessing this came out in 1983.

I get this dreadful feeling - what if I don't like the other songs, what am I going to do? Other drivers pay no attention to my angst, they're on their cell phones. Song 2, "Power", comes on. It's a basic rock and roll song, only Ben plays his violins like lead guitars. Words are flowing out of my mouth...I remember all of the words. This is unbelievable. See, I can't recite lyrics, but once the song plays I'm there. It amazes me how musicians can sing and play at the same time. So weird, I missed that gene. I always think of Geddy Lee in concert - usually doesn't hit a note at the exact same time he sings (maybe it's not just me then).

Song three "Truth or Consequences" appears. Even more of a basic song. Rockin the crap out of me. All the words, inflections, every note of each instrument (there's only three or four!) just come flooding back. I wind down the window to annoy others, but I'm not on a populous road (and the wind dulls my enjoyment) so it goes back up.

"Lost And Found", tune four. A haunting tune, a change of pace. Full of angst...just very cool. Tunes five and six, "City of Fear" and "Surface To Air". The latter might be the best driving tune ever made. It's so happy.

"Up To You" next. A very commercial tune. Then after following along with the lyrics, I realize - I've been had. The song is intentionally commercial, and is a tongue-in-cheek sendup. It's got a cool percussive middle section to break it up, too.

Tune 8, "Silence", another soft tune (in the verses anyway). Good stuff.

"Riding the Thunder" next. Completely balls to the wall, features Ben on some heavy electric mandolin and guitar, makes no apologies. I screech the vocals until I talk like Phyllis Diller. Lovin it.

Finally, "Nobody At All". One of the prettiest tunes ever made. Listen to it once without any distractions (lots of luck!).

I had to ride out of the way 10 extra minutes to finish the CD. I get out of the car, decompress for a minute, then as the family greets (ignores) me, not knowing what I did during my ride home, I realize - too bad these moments are so fleeting.

Why am I writing this? Well, Zvinki asked me how the CD sounded, and I came to the conclusion that there a lot of CD's out that are seemingly not Moon material, yet are not correctly classified as "Guilty Pleasures" either.

It's a damn shame there's no outlet for music like this. Of course one could argue that other great basic rock and roll CD's such as Wishbone Ash's "Argus" (which is on the Moon) falls into the same category. Popular bands like Yes have "90125" on the playlist which is no more complicated than this CD. Where to draw the line? An interesting question.

As Cameron Hawkins sings, "I know that it's commercial but it's up to you".

Any other CD's anybody thinks fit into this category? Another example I think would be XTC's "Skylarking".

Fire away!
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Old 04-30-2004, 08:31 AM
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Who loves ya!!!

OK, OK, you squeezed it out of me! How could I not follow you when you bare your soul so completely. My guilty pleasure that fits your criteria is Gerry Raffery's "City to City" (coincidence that both have "city" in the title?). It has an old time rock flavour with a touch of country at times (I'm blushing!) but I listen to that CD end-to-end and get this warm, happy feeling inside. You all know "Baker's Street" with that sax hook but the rest of the CD is equally addictive.

Similarly Tori Amos' "Little Earthquakes" and "Under the Pink" take me to the same place. She has a way of idly plinking on her piano without a recognizable pattern and lulling me with her baffling lyrics with that sensual voice of hers. Her voice is so close you almost feel like she's whispering in your ear. My wife would never let me listen to her alone, come to think of it that may have been the driving factor for me to build a soundproofed listening room (with a lock) in the basement. Me and Tori .... mmmmmmm.....

I need to rest now but I'll be back with more of my secret gems. (where's that "smoking" emoticon?)
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Old 04-30-2004, 02:10 PM
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Re: My tortured mind asks.......

Quote:
Originally posted by Rick and Roll
I came to the conclusion that there a lot of CD's out that are seemingly not Moon material, yet are not correctly classified as "Guilty Pleasures" either.
Yeah, I've got a lot of stuff that I LOVE that is in no way a guilty pleasure. Neil Young, TwoThirtyEight, Grammatrain, Stavesacre, and The Benjamin Gate, just to name a few.


Quote:
Originally posted by Rick and Roll
It's a damn shame there's no outlet for music like this.
I agree. Grammatrain and TwoThirtyEight are in no way progressive, but at the same time, they are too good for radio! How can anyone hear these bands?!! It's a shame, that's what it is. I promise you, once BrainRock is Rollin', you'll get a chance to hear this stuff - occasionally -


Quote:
Originally posted by Rick and Roll
Of course one could argue that other great basic rock and roll CD's such as Wishbone Ash's "Argus" (which is on the Moon) falls into the same category. Popular bands like Yes have "90125" on the playlist which is no more complicated than this CD. Where to draw the line? An interesting question.
Yeah, I think it all comes down, in my opinion at least, to how wide your dfinition of Prog is. For instance, Rhino has a boxed set called Supernatural Fairy Tales which is a chronicle of the Prog era of the 70s. Guess what is on the fourth disc? Radar Love by Golden Earring. Huh? When I think of 90125, I think of "Changes" and "Our Song" and "Hearts" as progressive if there ever was a prog song. "Owner" and "City of Love" are more on the fence. When you get to 80s Yes and Genesis, it becomes a song by song sort of thing.


Quote:
Originally posted by Rick and Roll
I get out of the car, decompress for a minute, then as the family greets (ignores) me, not knowing what I did during my ride home, I realize - too bad these moments are so fleeting.
Preach it Rick. Man, I love those moments where you listen to an old cd and it hits you like it's the first time. Or those moments when you hear a new band and it's like, "Wow, this is what music is supposed to be." I guess my friend Joel put it best. He's always been a pop-rock kind of guy. Bands like Switchfoot (killer), MxPx, Jimmy Eat World, Plankeye, etc. Then one day he told me he was hooked on "Pet Sounds" by the Beach Boys. He described it like this:

"When I heard this, it was like I've never listened to music before."
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  #4  
Old 05-01-2004, 02:13 AM
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great thread.

FM's City of Fear had no chance with me. The first time I heard it was about 2 years after it was released; at the time, I was listening to "Black Noise" by the same band as if it were the best album ever made; I haven't responded to the Desert Island Disc thread yet, but "Black Noise" is one of my first choices for that list. So, I was SO disappointed in "City Of Fear". I haven't heard COF in years, but I was never able to get past that disappointment. But keep in mind what I'm saying: it wasn't as good as one of my FAVORITE albums of all time in any genre.

Tori Amos I've been tempted to add to AM a bunch of times, but I know I can't do it. Again, not a guilty pleasure. Besides the fact that she's hot, she's a supremely talented artist.

Spaz, your stuff struck me as stuff that's good but not even close to prog. At least that's my opinion. I have lots of those too.

keep the comments coming - audience opinion does influence my programming decisions - to a point.
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Old 05-01-2004, 08:23 AM
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Tortured mind brings me to.......

Nick Drake - Pink Moon.

On his third and final album, Nick Drake sits alone with his guitar, creating music of such haunting purity and beauty it moves me to tears EVERY time I hear it.

Brilliant beyond compare, Pink Moon softly smolders with emotional power. It captures an infinitely talented artist in his most supremely honest moment, stripped of all pretense and orchestration. His songs of loneliness and isolation never sound self-indulgent, but rather innocent and sincere, as he delivers such lines as "Know that I love you/Know I don't care/Know that I see you/You know I'm not there." His guitar swirls and chimes in fluid rhythms, building an undercurrent of intensity that perfectly complements his sonorous vocals. This album represents one of the most perfectly realized recordings in the formidable singer/songwriter tradition, and thus explains why the magnitude of Nick Drake's music has finally begun to register, so long after his tragic death at so young an age.

I've suggested that this album be on the Moon's playlist before but I can understand Jim's reluctance to load it. It's certainly not prog but I would NEVER classify it as a "Guilty pleasure". I feel very lucky, even honoured, to have discovered Nick and will love him and his music for ever more.

Tracks:
1. PINK MOON 2:00
2. PLACE TO BE 2:39
3. RADIO 1:58
4. WHICH WILL 2:56
5. HORN 1:19
6. THINGS BEHIND THE SUN 3:23
7. KNOW 2:23
8. PARASITE 3:30
9. RIDE 2:57
10. HARVEST BREED 1:00
11. FROM THE MORNING 2:25

Not the longest album in the world but as a single work of art probably the most beautiful.

The final song, From the morning, has a lyric that moved me the second I heard it and still does to this day.

A day once dawned, and it was beautiful
A day once dawned from the ground
Then the night she fell
And the air was beautiful
The night she fell all around.

So look see the days
The endless coloured ways
And go play the game that you learnt
From the morning.

And now we rise
And we are everywhere
And now we rise from the ground
And see she flies
And she is everywhere
See she flies all around

So look see the sights
The endless summer nights
And go play the game that you learnt
From the morning.

Read 'em and weep everyone. Better still go to Amazon and buy this album. I think you will see what I mean.
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Old 05-01-2004, 09:15 AM
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Thoughts

nice post, Spaz, some good thoughts. Jim, I don't think Spaz had a pretenses as his suggestions being prog, but I may have read it wrong.

Jim, I'm glad you don't like COF, it would be inconsistent with your tastes. There are five superior cuts on Surveillance that stack up to Black Noise. Songs 2-4, Seventh Heaven (my fav FM tune), and Father Time. Check it out sometime!

Jim, love that "to a point" qualifier. Ah the power!

Keith, I shall look into this Drake character!
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Old 05-01-2004, 04:15 PM
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zvinki, City to City is a great album. you nailed it.

great thread.

prog is a grand avenue in a city of bright streets...
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Old 05-02-2004, 12:05 AM
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Yeah

Yeah, I have Pink Moon by Nick Drake. I hesitate to give it the classic status KW does (sorry ) but it is an excellent album. I just don't think it's quite as satisfying in the singer-songwriter category as Harvest by Neil Young.

Jim, you said: "Spaz, your stuff struck me as stuff that's good but not even close to prog. At least that's my opinion. I have lots of those too."

But I said: "Grammatrain and TwoThirtyEight are in no way progressive, but at the same time, they are too good for radio!"

Is your statement about the 80s Yes/Genesis statement? If so it makes sense. Otherwise I'm confused.... which is highly likely
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Old 05-02-2004, 05:02 AM
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Pink Moon.

Quote:
Originally posted by Yesspaz
Yeah, I have Pink Moon by Nick Drake. I hesitate to give it the classic status KW does (sorry ) but it is an excellent album. I just don't think it's quite as satisfying in the singer-songwriter category as Harvest by Neil Young.
No need to apologise Spaz.

I love this album because I heard it at an important time for me and it spoke to me like no other album had.

You mention in your post Neil young's Harvest. I think this is an excellent album too but I guess Nick is quintessentialy English and Neil is quinressentially American and that HAS to have an effect on how we'd both react to the music.

I'm glad you like the album Spaz. Would you like to sign my petition to get Nick on the Moon?

Only kidding Jimbo
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Old 05-02-2004, 10:07 AM
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Re: Pink Moon.

Quote:
Originally posted by Keith Waye
Neil is quinressentially American
Quintessentially Canadian, actually.
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Old 05-02-2004, 12:36 PM
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Re: Re: Pink Moon.

Quote:
Originally posted by Yesspaz


Quintessentially Canadian, actually.
North American, score one for both of you!
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Old 05-03-2004, 12:22 AM
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Re: Yeah

Quote:
Originally posted by Yesspaz

Jim, you said: "Spaz, your stuff struck me as stuff that's good but not even close to prog. At least that's my opinion. I have lots of those too."

But I said: "Grammatrain and TwoThirtyEight are in no way progressive, but at the same time, they are too good for radio!"

Is your statement about the 80s Yes/Genesis statement? If so it makes sense. Otherwise I'm confused.... which is highly likely
Spaz, yes to both your paragraphs. When I responded I was just too busy to respond coherently. I just missed that you said "they're in no way progressive", and of course, you know I feel 80's Yes/Genesis is not progressive (most of it anyway). so peace, pdj out...
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Old 05-03-2004, 12:55 AM
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Re: Pink Moon.

Quote:
Originally posted by Keith Waye

I love this album because I heard it at an important time for me and it spoke to me like no other album had.
In another recent post, I mentioned the personal significance of a particular song; Nick Drake's "Pink Moon" captures so eloquently the perspective of what I imagined the person I miss was feeling. If you know the story of Nick Drake's recording of that album, then you listen to it, and you're not moved; well, I hope you heal soon...
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