Jukebox - what's playing?

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Re: Jukebox - what's playing?

Post  rajkumarc on Tue May 21, 2013 2:58 am

Listened to Maryan samples in iTunes. It felt underwhelming to me on the first listen and compared to this I liked Kadal better. Enga Pona Rasa by Shaktishree and Kadal Raasa Naan by YSR will get repeat listens for sure for me. Need to listen to the complete album before saying anything concrete. I'm with V_S on Nenje Ezhu and it didn't work for me either.I like ARR's rendition and in general the songs he chooses to sing usually work for me. However, Maryan and Kadal are exceptions in this regard.

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Re: Jukebox - what's playing?

Post  writeface on Sat Aug 31, 2013 6:05 am

I love this song Hot Knife by Fiona Apple  (Music video directed by Paul Thomas Anderson who directed "The Master") 

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Re: Jukebox - what's playing?

Post  Usha on Wed Sep 04, 2013 1:16 pm

Manasa sancharare  -  KVM........ Viswanath.... VJ  SPB  ...... Beauty............

VJ....... Best to the core........ sri ramani kucha.. lyric theriyama thadumarinalum.... thalam thapamal.. padum style..........
anga irukar......... 

Guru. thookathil irundhalum......... paatu....... avar ariyamal varum style. anga irukar Director......... really nice to watch......


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=527MAB6tQi8

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Re: Jukebox - what's playing?

Post  Usha on Wed Sep 04, 2013 1:24 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRasm7AUVno

ipodhu idhu dhane nadakaradhu. adhai correct nu ninaika vaiakirargal.......... generation spoil aradhu..........

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Re: Jukebox - what's playing?

Post  crimson king on Sat Sep 07, 2013 7:58 am

writeface wrote:I love this song Hot Knife by Fiona Apple  (Music video directed by Paul Thomas Anderson who directed "The Master") 

W00t!  Do you also like Fiona Apple's work in general?  I don't think there's a single song I dislike on Idler Wheel, incredible album.

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Re: Jukebox - what's playing?

Post  fring151 on Mon Sep 23, 2013 2:19 am

Petite Fleur- Sidney Bechet. Some monstrous vibratos right there!


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Re: Jukebox - what's playing?

Post  crimson king on Thu Sep 26, 2013 7:51 pm

^^^ Indeed.  Finally heard this.  Thanks for sharing....so many great jazz artists and so little time to listen to them.

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Re: Jukebox - what's playing?

Post  fring151 on Fri Sep 27, 2013 7:13 am

Yes it's amazing the number of great jazz musicians around, past and present. Where I stay, there is a fantastic jazz station, which is what I usually listen to while driving, and almost every single song or piece I hear on that is far superior to every single mainstream 'hit' belted out by the popular FM stations. Real musicianship DOES exist even today, but will probably never get much attention beyond jazz festivals and jazz clubs...quite a sad state of affairs.

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Re: Jukebox - what's playing?

Post  crimson king on Fri Sep 27, 2013 6:23 pm

True.  Jazz as a studio album proposition is not really sought after now, it's no longer a major label thing.  The flipside is some of these amazing musicians have started coming to India looking for the big gig.   I was fortunate to catch the Russian musician Igor Butman (hope you have heard him, supposedly Bill Clinton's favourite saxophonist) last year.  We had to leave after the nth encore because it was getting late but it was an incredible set.

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Re: Jukebox - what's playing?

Post  crimson king on Fri Sep 27, 2013 6:25 pm

Listening to Steely Dan's Katy Lied album now.  Has your - fring - interest in jazz taken you to their music? Smile   They write, rather wrote, some superb chords.  Have always wondered if they might have influenced IR's music at some point.

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Re: Jukebox - what's playing?

Post  fring151 on Sat Sep 28, 2013 3:47 am

Oh yes. Back in college (about 3-4 years ago) I had a friend - a keyboard player who was a big fan of Steely Dan, so I have listened to some of their work. They did use some very cool chord progressions (many 9th and 13th chords if I recall correctly) and my friend used to 'trip' on their music a lot, if you catch my drift Smile . I haven't really listened to them too closely to discern any possible influences on Raja, but now that you mention it, I will try to revisit some of their work soon.

It is an interesting question to ponder - was Raja influenced at all by classic/prog rock bands of the 70s? Possible - particularly the idea of building and resolution of tension and dissonance. However, I don't see any overt influences in the sense that he doesn't  borrow heavily from these genres in terms of song structure or any specific chord progressions. His bass work and use of the acoustic/electric guitar is also for the most part radically different from that of rock/jazz. For example I don't recall hearing a single blues scale based guitar riff or solo (the bread and butter of classic rock) in his music at all! For that matter, even bended notes are rare. Being a guitarist himself , I presume he developed his own philosophy for the instrument, which is not surprising at all. I really wish he would compose a guitar only instrumental album.

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Re: Jukebox - what's playing?

Post  crimson king on Sat Sep 28, 2013 5:37 am

I guess Madai Thiranthu could be considered a typical rock riff, but of course that doesn't characterise much of IR's work.   I am more interested in the tones or some interludes or BGM passages which have often reminded me of prog rock/jazz rock.  Like say Camel's Nimrodel or Supertwister.  There is also a syncopated bassline in the second interlude of Naan Thedum Sevvanthi Poo which evoked Rush's La Villa Strangiato for me.  Except, IR has a string section playing over that bassline instead of electric guitar (in Rush) which distinguishes his work not only from Rush but mostly any rock music of the 70s.  

What you said about his chords reminds me of what Robert Christgau says about Steely Dan in a review:  They need snazzy musicians because they specialize in chords most rock and rollers can't play. laugh  That's pretty harsh but it's true that most rock bands of that time didn't have much use for the services of Larry Carlton, Jeff Porcaro or Steve Gadd.  In the same way, I don't see much influence of Who or Led Zeppelin in IR's music but prog rock and jazz rock bands basically wanted to fuse rock with WCM/jazz, which is a somewhat similar journey as IR's.  Prog rock died in the 80s but it had a rebirth in TN and reached new heights.  Very Happy

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Re: Jukebox - what's playing?

Post  fring151 on Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:01 am

Hahaha. That's true. It might seem counter-intuitive, but actually some of the Beatles songs have more interesting chord progressions than Zeppelin or The Who. I must also confess I am not really familiar with some of those songs and names you have mentioned. Evidently you listen to a lot more prog/jazz rock than I do. Smile . Anyway...

Prog rock died in the 80s but it had a rebirth in TN and reached new heights.
thumbsup

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Re: Jukebox - what's playing?

Post  fring151 on Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:52 am

On Madai thirandhu, I agree. It totally rocks - pun intended. The Raja of 1980-81 was a possessed man.

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Re: Jukebox - what's playing?

Post  crimson king on Sat Sep 28, 2013 1:17 pm

fring151 wrote:Hahaha. That's true. It might seem counter-intuitive, but actually some of the Beatles songs have more interesting chord progressions than Zeppelin or The Who. 
Yeah, later Beatles, i.e, from Rubber Soul to Abbey Road experimented a lot more than LZ or Who.  I do like Who very much but both these bands were ultimately more about the heaviness and rock and roll energy.  Their music tended to be simple (as in in terms of concept, not necessarily physically easy to play), straightforward and catchy.  

As for Camel, check out from 3:10 to 4:00 thereabouts in Nimrodel.   The soft, melancholic flute followed by a short lead guitar passage leading to an organ breakout...




Or Supertwister as such




You'll notice the enhanced level of dynamics in the music, the linear pattern in which the music 'develops' rather than simply repeating a verse chorus over and over (the typical pop rock pattern) and the ease with which they change time signatures.   All hallmarks of IR's work, especially the BGM.  And unlike some of their more illustrious classic rock counterparts, prog rock musicians were never afraid to play gently and take their time to develop an idea if that's what the composition demanded.

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Re: Jukebox - what's playing?

Post  fring151 on Sat Sep 28, 2013 9:25 pm

Nimrodel is simply superb. Thanks for bringing some of these lesser known prog rock bands to my attention. I guess I only sort of grew out of classic rock (again, not all of it). Prog rock of the non-mainstream variety like King Crimson, Gentle giant do seem very interesting and different - my exposure to prog rock was largely limited to only Pink Floyd so far - of course, I still love them - Breathe from DSOTM has one of my favourite chord progressions of all time. But as I mentioned elsewhere, Epitaph by KC is now one of my absolute favourites. The drumming towards the end is so psyching and relentless - there is a syncopated variation in every bar! 

On Supertwister, I think I can see how it evokes IR for you (or the other way if you like). The interlude of Ennodu vaa vaa?

On the other hand, it is also easy for me to see why many of them never really made it to the mainstream like PF...

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Re: Jukebox - what's playing?

Post  crimson king on Sun Sep 29, 2013 6:36 am

Actually Camel didn't do too badly, commercially speaking.  Two of their albums were certified silver in the UK and four straight albums from Snow Goose to Breathless charted within the top 30.  I gather they didn't really make it in the USA.   A lot of bands had decent success in the 70s while a few like Yes, Emerson Lake & Palmer and Jethro Tull really hit the big time.   And yet, most prog rock is no longer mentioned today as something a music listener might like even as bands like Guns N Roses continue to be hyped incessantly years after the break up of the original band.

There are two factors at work here.  One is, as you mentioned PF, PF placed a lot more emphasis on lyrics and their lyrics are also 'apparently' lucid (but you can read more meaning in their lines if you want) and they had a fine sound engineer Alan Parsons working with them so their work was more accessible.  I do like PF more than any of these bands barring maybe KC.  Good to know you are warming up to KC now.  In most of these prog rock bands, the focus was on musicianship, not vocals and/or lyrics so that restricted their popularity.

The other thing is, you would be aware of the long running prog-punk feud.  So from late 1970s onwards, the same journalists (with a few exceptions like Alison Steele) who once promoted prog turned their back on it and began to paint it as a pretentious, overblown, excessive kind of music.  To be fair, the older prog rock bands were running out of steam by then and some bands like ELP could be excessive.  But this stereotype denied later bands an audience and the taint has stuck to this day.  

Do let me know if you want recommendations w.r.t prog rock.  It is the lost treasure of modern Western music and those who are interested in finer aspects of music apart from just having something catchy, would surely find something or the other to like in it.    

PS:  Supertwister just generally reminded me of the way IR develops music, esp BGMs.  The tones too are very much like IR, elegant and beautiful, no attempt to sound flashy or loud.

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Re: Jukebox - what's playing?

Post  crimson king on Sun Sep 29, 2013 6:46 am

By the way, another important feature of the first wave of prog from 1968/69 to 76/77 is they were European and some of the best known bands among them were British.  They didn't share America's fetish for neatly slotting music into formats and experimented audaciously.  That is probably why their work still sounds fresh today, but was also ultimately their undoing commercially.

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Re: Jukebox - what's playing?

Post  fring151 on Sun Sep 29, 2013 10:35 am

Thanks for the walk through prog rock history Smile . I am equally nonplussed by the hype around average bands like GNR and Bad Company in the U.S. As far as I know, prog rock doesn't even have a radio presence here except PF and pseudo-prog stuff like 'Owner of a lonely heart' which gets overplayed to death. The bar and pub scene ( the rock ones that is) is again dominated by live acts whose repertoire primarily consists of Sweet child of Mine, Kryptonite, Comfortably numb, Johnny B Goode...you get the picture.

I generally don't like listening to too many bands or albums at a time, kind of prefer to stay with an album or set of songs for a few days/weeks so I absorb it enough to have an intelligent conversation about it later, if necessary. I want to spend some more time on ICCK and the Red album - how do you recommend their 90s and noughties albums anyway? Listening to Starless now. Smile . It is a beauty. I love the slow build up and tension filled chords, but it is easy for me to see why it puts off many people -in my experience,  even in the west, the proportion of people who have the patience AND taste for extended slow meandering instrumental passages, 'weird' sounds and long intervals of silence is not all that high.

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Re: Jukebox - what's playing?

Post  crimson king on Sun Sep 29, 2013 10:43 am

Yeah...Owner of a lonely heart is even't really THE prog that Yes brought to the table, just their hit single.   Of the songs you mentioned, at least Comfortably Numb is emotional and has great lyrics (as usual) but it's still skimming the surface as far as PF goes.  But that's the way it is...even with well known bands, majority barely ever get to the back catalogue.  I have by the way heard Comfy...described as the 'drug song'...heh, an interpretation that is completely at odds with the overall album concept.

One thing I have learned is whether in the West or in India, journalists are extremely unreliable in terms of contextualising the significance or influence of say a particular artist.  They go completely by preferences...but if it is just about what he/she likes, why should I read their reviews anyway (I would obviously have my own set of likes and dislikes which would be different).  Sparks anticipated bands like Blondie, Police, Cars in launching New Wave by such a wide margin that it is inexplicable how they are not credited with creating the genre.  And again, they had two back to back hit albums, so it's not like they were unknown at that time.   So the only explanation is that journalists heard it, decided they didn't like it no matter that the audience did and refused to dig deep.  

I am like you too that way.   If I really like an album, I will keep listening to it on loop.  I am never in a hurry to move on to the next thing.  Enjoy Starless.  It's an incredible, one in a million track.

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Re: Jukebox - what's playing?

Post  crimson king on Sun Sep 29, 2013 10:52 am

I think THRAK and Power to Believe are also very good albums.  But it's totally different from what they were doing on Red.  So you should probably give a gap before you get to those albums.  Almost every KC album is very different from the previous, mainly because their lineup changed all the time.

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Re: Jukebox - what's playing?

Post  fring151 on Sun Sep 29, 2013 11:26 pm

Of course, Comfortably Numb is a fabulous song with fantastic lyrics and richly deserves the hype around it . But yeah, my point, as you could tell is that cover bands as well as most of their audience rarely venture beyond the warhorses - and CN is the ultimate warhorse. The same is true of FM stations.

Here's my problem with music reviewers. In my opinion, they have no business colouring reviews with their likes and prejudices . Their only job IMO is to bring the artistic contents of the album/song to public attention. I hasten to clarify that I have absolutely no problems if they pan really worthless stuff like most (not all) pop music for instance, with their three chord songs and cheesy lyrics and hardly anything interesting or new musically to recommend them. Yeah, it is disconcerting how journalists can make or break careers, often without ever having written a song or learned to sing or play an instrument.

As an aside, my view on movie reviewing is slightly different. Here, I agree it is hard for common people and reviewers to grasp the technical details of what goes into say good cinematography or graphics, but every Tom Dick and Harry HAS the right to criticise the lameness of the script, bad acting, lazy editing, contrived and redundant dialogues etc etc. I believe these to be self evident and fair game for everyone Smile .

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Re: Jukebox - what's playing?

Post  fring151 on Mon Sep 30, 2013 12:35 am

Btw - Now that it's been a couple of weeks with ICCK, let me just say it is one of my best discoveries in recent times. Thanks for pointing me to KC Smile - it is quite doubtful if I would have sought them out or stumbled upon them on my own. I am tempted to rate it alongside DSOTM (which I understand ICCK predates), but since it's only around 2 weeks, I probably don't have enough of a balanced perspective yet. For now, I rate it higher than 'Red' simply because I like every song in the album. The drummer, Michael Giles is just unreal. The level of polyrhythmic variations and syncopation in the album is quite staggering. Also love the counterpoint between the flute and guitar in the middle of the title track.

P.S: Do you happen to know the composing style of KC or any of the other prog rock bands? Was it 'written' music like WCM or improvised like jazz or a little bit of both? Note: I don't consider written music to be superior to improvised music at all - far from it. Even in the case of IR, it is not the fact that he writes the full score without humming or touching any instrument, but that he is able to conceptualize such complex and beautiful music so fast in his mind, that endlessly fascinates me. Writing the notation is merely compiling one's thoughts and ideas systematically, the advantage of the approach being ease of reproduction by a trained orchestra or musicians...IMO of course.

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Re: Jukebox - what's playing?

Post  crimson king on Mon Sep 30, 2013 3:14 am

fring151 wrote:
Here's my problem with music reviewers. In my opinion, they have no business colouring reviews with their likes and prejudices . Their only job IMO is to bring the artistic contents of the album/song to public attention. 
Exactly...that is, of course they will have their likes and dislikes which do form part of their opinion of the album but they also need to dig deeper and highlight what, if anything, is new or original about the music.  I think part of the problem (in the West) is the reviewers are conditioned to believe that anything that is not jazz or classical is just pop music meant for entertainment.  That is not true, of course, but they have yet to fully appreciate the concept of an independent music artist who may not necessarily try to do academic work but is nevertheless not driven only by commercial motives (it's roughly 50 years since Beatles broke through, they better wake up now!).  I don't see this problem in the movie or book business; many independent filmmakers have been recognised over the years and likewise it's understood that not every book needs to sell as much as HP or Twilight.  But there is too much of importance attached to instant likability in music which works against, say, prog rock.

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Re: Jukebox - what's playing?

Post  crimson king on Mon Sep 30, 2013 3:27 am

fring151 wrote:Btw - Now that it's been a couple of weeks with ICCK, let me just say it is one of my best discoveries in recent times. Thanks for pointing me to KC Smile - it is quite doubtful if I would have sought them out or stumbled upon them on my own. I am tempted to rate it alongside DSOTM (which I understand ICCK predates), but since it's only around 2 weeks, I probably don't have enough of a balanced perspective yet. For now, I rate it higher than 'Red' simply because I like every song in the album. The drummer, Michael Giles is just unreal. The level of polyrhythmic variations and syncopation in the album is quite staggering. Also love the counterpoint between the flute and guitar in the middle of the title track.

P.S: Do you happen to know the composing style of KC or any of the other prog rock bands? Was it 'written' music like WCM or improvised like jazz or a little bit of both? Note: I don't consider written music to be superior to improvised music at all - far from it. Even in the case of IR, it is not the fact that he writes the full score without humming or touching any instrument, but that he is able to conceptualize such complex and beautiful music so fast in his mind, that endlessly fascinates me. Writing the notation is merely compiling one's thoughts and ideas systematically, the advantage of the approach being ease of reproduction by a trained orchestra or musicians...IMO of course.
I rate Red higher because it embraces more stark emotions and does so in a seamless manner.  But it's not a choice I would like to make, both are great albums.   

As for the composing style, I am not sure how many of them actually transcribed their music.   One of the band members may have worked out the whole thing in his head and then performed it for the rest to get it across, eventually leading to the final product (Ian Anderson used to do this for Jethro Tull).   Or, they might have jammed together and shaped the composition through trial and error (Yes).   The Gentle Giant keyboardist was formally educated in composition so he may have had a greater degree of comfort in writing his compositions as sheet music.   KC were a bit radical in that regard.  I think ITCOTCK involved composition but during the Red album phase, many compositions that made it to the studio were actually originated live.  Yes, live improvisations performed for the first time for the audience.  Very daring stuff that rarely happens anymore.  I think the whole of Starless and Bible Black album (which preceded Red) was improvisations originally performed live, recorded afresh in the studio.  Probably, when it's just a band of five or six musicians, writing sheet music is not necessary even if it may not hurt.  One of the prog rock bands of that time, Renaissance, used an orchestra for many of their compositions so they may have relied on writing sheet music.  Their then keyboardist and the present ones do refer to sheet music while performing live. In modern times, I think Dream Theater also like to transcribe their music, but not too sure.

The remarkable thing about IR's approach is not that he can write it down (which I am sure a musician reasonably experienced in the business can) but that he writes all of it without actually performing it on an instrument to test his ideas.  Alfred Hitchcock apparently never actually looked into the camera when executing shots because he was so confident of what he had conceived.  IR works on a similar plane.  Great classical composers wrote like that (Beethoven was almost completely deaf when he wrote the Ninth Symphony) but I am not sure there were many rock or prog rock artists who could work like that.

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