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Phideaux est mort? Vive Phideaux!

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Queen By-Tor View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Queen By-Tor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Phideaux est mort? Vive Phideaux!
    Posted: April 07 2011 at 17:07
Further chronicles from bands who have made it too big in our niche market.

Years ago, I heard Doomsday Afternoon for the first time, and for a while I thought it was a pleasant album with merits until one day it finally grew on me to the point where I started to love it. I decided immediately afterwards that I needed more. I headed out to the local record store and confused an employee who had no idea who the band were and was even more befuddled by the spelling that I attempted to give him.

Yes, so Phideaux is kind of the ultimate niche band. Bought and traded in the progressive market solely online, who has somehow managed to have a rather respectable cult following and who's albums get more and more critically acclaimed with each release. The very funny thing about this kind of band s the bigger they get, the more their fans feel like the band is not 'theirs' anymore. A lot of times with larger bands such as Dream Theater the following simply turns on the band because they feel the band has lost touch. Sometimes this is true, but many times it is not. The reason that I bring is up is because I more recently had a 'falling out' with Phideaux's music - my elitist, progheaded nature jumping to more obscure things.

I had the chance to interview Phideaux back in 2008, before the release of Number 7. At that time the release of a tentative album called "Infernal" was supposed to finish the trilogy started with "The Great Leap". Being that I was totally in love with "Doomsday Afternoon" at the time, I suppose I held onto this belief far too strongly, and when an album called "Snowtorch" surfaced - well, I guess I felt a bit betrayed - when it became more critically acclaimed than the album that I fell in love with - I disowned Phideaux in my listening circulation: perhaps the progressive society forgot what they were 'about'.

So where am I going with this anyways (you might wonder)?

Well, a couple of weeks ago I decided to break my Phideaux fast. I ordered both Ghost Story and The Great Leap from the internet (something I haven't done in years, I prefer to hunt down my cds in store. More exciting.), and when they came I was astounded at how good they each were. I revisited Doomsday Afternoon and remembered how much I loved it. I still haven't heard Number 7 or Snowtorch yet.

What I'm getting at really has nothing to do with Phideaux in particular. I think he's just a good example because he's one of the most popular artists specifically in the progressive scene right now - as with most big bands he will constantly walk a fine line until the community finally decides to go cannibal on his ass, and probably for no reason at all. What I'm getting at is our tendencies as progressive music fans to be so elitist that we can destroy our own perceptions of our favorite bands because they get 'too popular' or because they do something that we didn't want them to do. Look at Porcupine Tree, the most popular band for about 5 years on PA, suddenly under the radar because "The Incident" wasn't the mellotron soaked epic that some were hoping for. Look at Dream Theater with "Black Clouds and Silver Linings", the band is now a joke for most in the community even though they pioneered a genre for over 10 years.

So I'm giving Phideaux another chance. Just because I didn't see a 2 leaved clover with crazy faces with the word "Infernal" written on it doesn't mean that I can't appreciate his music anymore. These things will never actually change. We will always destroy our own bands. I just thought it would be a fun exercise to make commentary on it. Hope you enjoyed.

Comments? Experiences? Confessions?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Slartibartfast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 07 2011 at 18:29
What was the middle part? Tongue

Some artists you get into after they already put out a few and you raid the catalog.  Sometimes you get a hangover and sometimes you are left craving for more.  I'd never turn on an artist for not living up to what I expected them to do.  Still sometimes the artist turns away from you.


Edited by Slartibartfast - April 07 2011 at 18:32
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 07 2011 at 18:47
I'm kind of confused by this to be frank Mike. Considering Snowtorch has only been out about a month, just how long were Phideaux off your radar? And, given that you had only heard part-two of this three-part trilogy, why should the non-appearance of part-three cause so much concern? It seems to me that Xavier and his band have never been away from us long enough for the "progressive society" to forget anything about them, except perhaps for the whereabouts of Number 7...


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Post Options Post Options   Quote TheGazzardian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 07 2011 at 19:00
I am interpreting that the short and skinny of what you are trying to say is: As bands grow in popularity, those very fans who made them popular initially turn on them after a certain threshold.

And while I do see your point in regards to Dream Theater and Porcupine Tree, I think that a change in sound plays into it as well. Furthermore, the higher a bands status, the more likely someone is to check it out - and the more people that check it out, the more those who wouldn't like that music are exposed to it and vocal about their dislike.

Truthfully the whole obscurity thing is an attitude I apply more to the "indie" scene than the prog scene. 

As a side note, if you liked Doomsday, you should definitely check out Number Seven and Snowtorch as both are great and along the same lines. If you want to sample before you buy, check out their badncamp, http://phideaux.bandcamp.com 


Edited by TheGazzardian - April 07 2011 at 19:01
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Queen By-Tor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 07 2011 at 19:03
hmm, it seems I've lost my touch with rambling rants. Oh well LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 08 2011 at 01:24
Hi,

I'm glad to see that you were honest enough to write what you did. I don't think that most of us are that clear about their feelings, and too many reviews get centered on "I like it because it is post-prog" kind of thing, and it really is unfair to the artist and his/her/their work.

In the end, and it was in another thread, do you think less of Picasso because his Blue and Rose periods are so different? than the one piece that made him famous? 

It has always been my contention that too many of our reviews center on "preferences" that we have, and not what is "there" in the album itself ... which is much harder to do, of course.

I have said it before that the sound "change" from mellotron/synths to metal or whatever, is fine with me, as long as the structure and definition of the work itself is challenging ... however different it might be, and your examples of Dream Theater and Porcupine Tree are right on for me ... and I had no issues with "The Incident" and enjoy it as much as any of their early albums. I can not say that I enjoyed DT's latest as much, but I think that by this time I was already tired of the band bashing, and the last concert I saw of them (during the IM tour) ... was really sad ... the mix was horrendous and it was all about a screaming guitar and an overly loud drummer ... and if you had a keyboard moment, or a bass moment or a singing moment ... all you could ask was ... is that Dream Theater? ... it's how far off base and tank they were ... as if they were trying to kiss up to a metal-imaginary audience, I guess.

In the end, it's about the work ... and each artist's respect and care for their work.

If PT, or DT, or Phideaux did not believe in their music and in their work, I seriously doubt that any of us would give a damn ... and that is the part that we often forget! And one of the main reasons why I don't like to compare any albums or music to a style's definition, like a prog definition ... there are no blue prints for a Guernica ... there are no blue prints for Tales from Topographic Oceans ... there are no blue prints for Passion Play ... and my take is ... you just have to be lucky enough ... to be there to see it when it happens ... because it is one of those moments in your life, you will always cherish and appreciate ... not a whole lot came closer or had more meaning.

There are no blue prints for the work of an artist ... you either accept it ... or go home ... empty! (Or worse ... telling yourself how fun it was to see Jack Sparrow again!)
... none of the hits, none of the time ... you might actually find your own art, or self, and forego lousy heroes or Guru's!

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 08 2011 at 02:03
Originally posted by moshkito

And one of the main reasons why I don't like to compare any albums or music to a style's definition, like a prog definition ...
Just when I think I've found a Pedro...post where I can sit back and stroke my beard in a sagely manner and nod "Hmm, the boy's actually saying things I can agree with" you go and spoil it by saying something as pointless as this. Of course you do, you do it all the time, everybody does, it would be dumbarse not to.Wink


If you cannot be wise, pretend to be someone who is wise and then just behave like they would - Neil Gaiman
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Queen By-Tor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 08 2011 at 02:08
Originally posted by Dean

I'm kind of confused by this to be frank Mike. Considering Snowtorch has only been out about a month, just how long were Phideaux off your radar? And, given that you had only heard part-two of this three-part trilogy, why should the non-appearance of part-three cause so much concern? It seems to me that Xavier and his band have never been away from us long enough for the "progressive society" to forget anything about them, except perhaps for the whereabouts of Number 7...


I guess I can take the time to expand now that I'm bored and glued to my screen with a glass of wine.

They haven't been off the radar for very long. Actually, for some reason I refused to accept the fact that Number 7 even existed. This may have had to do with the fact that I considered it a purposeful delay to Infernal and the fact that "waiting for the axe to fall", originally 19-minutes long was cut down to 7.

I may not have had hear The Great Leap at that point, but I was SO enthralled by Doomsday that I needed more. Nay, I was frothing for more. Like a coke-addict unable to get his fix, I became upset with the thing that was stopping me from getting more.

Of course this all plays out in my head. I am actually listening to Snowtorch as I post this. LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Quote TheGazzardian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 08 2011 at 08:47
Originally posted by King By-Tor

 

I guess I can take the time to expand now that I'm bored and glued to my screen with a glass of wine.

They haven't been off the radar for very long. Actually, for some reason I refused to accept the fact that Number 7 even existed. This may have had to do with the fact that I considered it a purposeful delay to Infernal and the fact that "waiting for the axe to fall", originally 19-minutes long was cut down to 7.

I may not have had hear The Great Leap at that point, but I was SO enthralled by Doomsday that I needed more. Nay, I was frothing for more. Like a coke-addict unable to get his fix, I became upset with the thing that was stopping me from getting more.

Of course this all plays out in my head. I am actually listening to Snowtorch as I post this. LOL

Actually - to my understanding, in the original release they just split it up into several tracks and didn't tell anyone they were related LOL But Waiting For The Axe To Fall, Hive Mind, The Claws of a Crayfish, and (I believe) My Sleeping Slave are all part of the suite. On the remaster they released last year, they undid this (they had done it in a few places), putting all the long tracks back together, reducing the track count from 16 to 10.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote VanVanVan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 08 2011 at 11:58
Originally posted by TheGazzardian

Originally posted by King By-Tor

 

I guess I can take the time to expand now that I'm bored and glued to my screen with a glass of wine.

They haven't been off the radar for very long. Actually, for some reason I refused to accept the fact that Number 7 even existed. This may have had to do with the fact that I considered it a purposeful delay to Infernal and the fact that "waiting for the axe to fall", originally 19-minutes long was cut down to 7.

I may not have had hear The Great Leap at that point, but I was SO enthralled by Doomsday that I needed more. Nay, I was frothing for more. Like a coke-addict unable to get his fix, I became upset with the thing that was stopping me from getting more.

Of course this all plays out in my head. I am actually listening to Snowtorch as I post this. LOL

Actually - to my understanding, in the original release they just split it up into several tracks and didn't tell anyone they were related LOL But Waiting For The Axe To Fall, Hive Mind, The Claws of a Crayfish, and (I believe) My Sleeping Slave are all part of the suite. On the remaster they released last year, they undid this (they had done it in a few places), putting all the long tracks back together, reducing the track count from 16 to 10.

Yeah this is how it is on the version I have. Also, if you've refused to acknowledge Number 7 existed then in my opinion you're really missing out. It's great Big smile
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Post Options Post Options   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 08 2011 at 17:54
Originally posted by Dean

Originally posted by moshkito

And one of the main reasons why I don't like to compare any albums or music to a style's definition, like a prog definition ...
Just when I think I've found a Pedro...post where I can sit back and stroke my beard in a sagely manner and nod "Hmm, the boy's actually saying things I can agree with" you go and spoil it by saying something as pointless as this. Of course you do, you do it all the time, everybody does, it would be dumbarse not to.Wink
 
You're missing the best part ... the part about the "blue prints" ... which is what the whole thing is about ... you split up two sentences, that by themselves do not appear to say a whole lot ... but together? ... a lot more!
 
It's the same thing for any art ... Dean ... you already know that Pedro has some history of all seven deadly arts ... and he has a perspective on the arts that most rock music people have a hard time understanding ... it's ok ... you'll just have to fly a little higher and see from a little further away ... and see a bit more ... I had to do it too! And it helped knowing art, music and film and theater ... and I sincerely doubt that most have that perspective, or comparison point ... I'm about the "arts", and it is ALL a part of the arts.
 
And you and I also have an important role to play in that history ... think about it!
... none of the hits, none of the time ... you might actually find your own art, or self, and forego lousy heroes or Guru's!

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 08 2011 at 18:25
Originally posted by moshkito

Originally posted by Dean

Originally posted by moshkito

And one of the main reasons why I don't like to compare any albums or music to a style's definition, like a prog definition ...
Just when I think I've found a Pedro...post where I can sit back and stroke my beard in a sagely manner and nod "Hmm, the boy's actually saying things I can agree with" you go and spoil it by saying something as pointless as this. Of course you do, you do it all the time, everybody does, it would be dumbarse not to.Wink
 
You're missing the best part ... the part about the "blue prints" ... which is what the whole thing is about ... you split up two sentences, that by themselves do not appear to say a whole lot ... but together? ... a lot more!
  
Together they said a whole lot less, or at least not as much as you think they do. I am neither thick nor an ignoramus, nor are most of the people who read this. Let's put the two "sentences" back together and see:
Originally posted by moshkito

And one of the main reasons why I don't like to compare any albums or music to a style's definition, like a prog definition ... there are no blue prints for a Guernica ... there are no blue prints for Tales from Topographic Oceans ... there are no blue prints for Passion Play ...
I say again: Of course you do, you do it all the time, everybody does.
Originally posted by moshkito

It's the same thing for any art ... Dean ... you already know that Pedro has some history of all seven deadly arts ... and he has a perspective on the arts that most rock music people have a hard time understanding ...
Never seen that movie, I understand it's about martial arts. I know the seven liberal arts, and I don't think you're that versed in all those - don't see you joining in the astronomical discussions much.
 
Most rock music people do not frequent this site. Most people here are above average in intellegence and have no problem understanding the arts - the sooner you accept that the better.
Originally posted by moshkito

it's ok ... you'll just have to fly a little higher and see from a little further away ... and see a bit more ... I had to do it too! And it helped knowing art, music and film and theater ... and I sincerely doubt that most have that perspective, or comparison point ... I'm about the "arts", and it is ALL a part of the arts.
I don't enjoy being patronised, then I doubt anybody does. Personally, I paint in oils and acrylics, pastels and pencil, I write books and magazine articles; I compose and produce music; I sculpt and craft things with my hands; I cook and I am a member of the Royal Horticultural Society; I have a degree in Electronics and have a fair understanding of most science subjects; and today I fixed my lawn-mower so you really can tell me by the way I walk. Now, I don't regard myself as anything special - in fact aside from my long dyed hair and penchant for wearing predominately black clothing, I consider myself to be pretty average, at least as average as it gets around here. I'm pretty sure most people here could produce a list as varied as this, or demonstrate a degree of erudite knowledge that would be equal or in excess of it. So, again, the sooner you accept that the better.
Originally posted by moshkito

And you and I also have an important role to play in that history ... think about it!
No I don't, so no I won't.


If you cannot be wise, pretend to be someone who is wise and then just behave like they would - Neil Gaiman
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