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Complexity and enjoyment

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Topic: Complexity and enjoyment
Posted By: Neelus
Subject: Complexity and enjoyment
Date Posted: October 25 2012 at 15:29
What qualities do you feel makes a song complex to create?  Are these the the same qualities you seek for auditory enjoyment?  Just curious to hear what the prog community comes up with...



Replies:
Posted By: Ambient Hurricanes
Date Posted: October 25 2012 at 21:32
Good topic.

I think that complexity is a requirement for music to be considered progressive rock, but it can be difficult to define as musicians can explore complexity in a number of ways.  A song that is not complex in the traditional melodic/harmonic/rhythmic way can be complex in the intricacy of it's parts, in the timbres it uses, and in the atmospheres it generates.  I'm not even going to try to define how any of those aspects can be complex (I'll let our post rock experts and other more knowledgeable people take that one on) but I think it's important to realize that complexity comes in many more forms than many of us traditionally recognize.


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In blood, he's writing the lyrics of a brand new tune.


Posted By: Zargasheth
Date Posted: October 25 2012 at 21:35
One factor that I feel is responsible for a lot of complexity and (for me) personal enjoyment in music is rhythmic in nature. If a piece of music contains unusual time signatures, or multiple voices playing in differing rhythms, this makes it more complex. Not only do I find the complexity enjoyable, I like the "layering" that results from the interaction of these different rhythms. In general, the presence of many interlocking layers makes music both complex and enjoyable for me, but the rhythmic component of this is one of the most influential aspects.

I would say that complexity (to a point) can hold a listener's attention, because in the absence of a complex arrangement, the music can become either predictable or sparing, both of which can be boring. This isn't to say that sparse music is necessarily boring, because there is a lot of good sparse music as well, but  the presence of complexity can provide enjoyment of its own.


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When it comes to music, very little is objective.


Posted By: thellama73
Date Posted: October 25 2012 at 21:55
Complexity is a means to an end, not an end in itself. The most successful prog artists were complex because the existing rock music offered them an insufficient vocabulary to get their ideas across. Complexity for its own sake is rarely enjoyable (to me anyway.)

While I love a lot of very complex music because it challenges me and presents me with things I haven't heard before, sometimes the simplest song can be incredibly powerful.

An example fro one of my favorite musicians:

[TUBE]7l0zmS7a3vY[/TUBE]




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Posted By: SaltyJon
Date Posted: October 25 2012 at 21:59
Rhythmic complexity is a quality I've always enjoyed in music.  It's not necessary, but as a bassist and wannabe drummer, I've always paid particular attention to rhythm (both from within the rhythm section and without). 

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http://www.last.fm/user/Salty_Jon" rel="nofollow">


Posted By: Ambient Hurricanes
Date Posted: October 25 2012 at 22:12
Originally posted by thellama73

Complexity is a means to an end, not an end in itself. The most successful prog artists were complex because the existing rock music offered them an insufficient vocabulary to get their ideas across. Complexity for its own sake is rarely enjoyable (to me anyway.)

While I love a lot of very complex music because it challenges me and presents me with things I haven't heard before, sometimes the simplest song can be incredibly powerful.

An example fro one of my favorite musicians:

[TUBE]7l0zmS7a3vY[/TUBE]




Amen, here's to that.  Beer


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In blood, he's writing the lyrics of a brand new tune.


Posted By: Neelus
Date Posted: October 26 2012 at 03:40
What makes me enjoy a song, or album, is when it moves me emotionally.  If it manages to move me through multiple different ones, great. I think creating a song/album that can do this very well is, to me, the fundamental of musical complexity, and this makes some songs/albums in a different class to others (to me). I feel there are alot of tools that can be used to create this complexity. I like what ambient hurricane posted regarding the fact that there are many aspects that can be complex in music. I understand that alot of this is subjective, but there does seem to be certain songs/albums/artists that succeed in reaching out to more people than others (even within prog).
One example I can quickly think of is the opening track of The Wall (In the flesh?).  When you hear the first 15 seconds of that track for the first time, you are expecting another space rock standard opener, as on earlier albums like WYWH, and then Gilmore and Mason knocks you out of your seat with a riff that basically sets the tone for the rest of the album.
Fantastic element of surprise, almost fear.  Then the song starts to morph into beauty close to the 1 minute mark with that absolute peach of a riff by Gilmore.  And then at the 1min30sec mark, when the vocals come in, the song starts to take on the space atmospere that the floyd is so well known for, but with more of a mad twist this time around. Absolutely brilliant!  I am not surprised this album had the effect on people that it had. It was so huge, it is almost uncool :)
Most of the albums I enjoy happen to be from the progressive rock era of the late 60s and early 70s, and I feel it is for this reason mostly. The fact that alot of recordings from that time could move me so fantastically.  Artists like Pink Floyd, Caravan, Harmonium, PFM, Rush etc... Absolute masters!




Posted By: Manuel
Date Posted: October 26 2012 at 07:27
for me, complexities is mainly a factor product of orchestration ad arrangements. Sometimes musicians get to entangled in complexity, making their music a little dull. complexity is good, provided it conveys the emotions and the ideas the music is meant to express.


Posted By: infandous
Date Posted: October 26 2012 at 08:37
I'm in agreement about rhythmical complexity.  I think that is the first thing that draws me into music.  After that though, I look for melodic complexity.  However, I find even fairly simple songs can become quite interesting if the arrangement is complex. 


Posted By: rogerthat
Date Posted: October 27 2012 at 09:04
Could be odd time, could be dissonance, could be lots of harmonic or rhythmic changes, could be layers of harmony, plenty of things that could make music complex.   As far as enjoyment, firstly, it's a personal preference and depends on what each one enjoys.  And secondly, it depends on whether the complex arrangements serve the need of the composition or not.  If they are there just for the sake of it, just to make it sound proggy, it's probably going to be more of an irritant than an attraction.  IMHO, it should ideally be done so neatly that you do not even notice the complexity until you start paying attention to the details.  


Posted By: dtguitarfan
Date Posted: October 27 2012 at 09:15
For me, I get bored if a composition stays mainly in 4/4 or some other common meter - I'm always looking for changing rhythms and compound time, so that's a big factor for my own personal enjoyment.

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http://tinyurl.com/cy43zzh" rel="nofollow - My 2012 List


Posted By: moshkito
Date Posted: October 27 2012 at 14:00
Originally posted by Neelus

What qualities do you feel makes a song complex to create?
...
 
All of them and none of them. I hope that it all never becomes so clinical that, what you suggest is all there is to music!
 
Complex, is not hard or difficult and it might be simply something that is inherant in that culture ... but it is more difficult for someone else to play. You will find that most western musicians can not handle the different scales in India ... unless you are a seasoned veteran and enjoy Jon McGlothlin!
 
Originally posted by Neelus

...
  Are these the the same qualities you seek for auditory enjoyment?  Just curious to hear what the prog community comeup with...
 
I don't listen to music because it is "complex" or "simple". I listen to it because the spirit behind it is special and important and valuable to my experience ... not your words! I experience it myself, not through/via someone else. Thus, for me, it is important to remain independent so you can define/illustrate your OWN ability to listen ... and learn to invest in that and EXPAND its abilities.
 
If all you can enjoy is a specific thing, or style, you will miss a lot of beautiful things stated in a different manner ... and I hope that you, one day, will see that a bit better and not worry about ideas and wordings that make it all so clinical that it is not enjoyable anymore.


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... none of the hits, none of the time ... you might actually find your own art, or self, and forego lousy heroes or Guru's!

www.pedrosena.com


Posted By: brainstormer
Date Posted: October 28 2012 at 00:31
Music that is imitative is no longer complex.

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--
Robert Pearson
Regenerative Music http://www.regenerativemusic.net
Telical Books http://www.telicalbooks.com
ParaMind Brainstorming Software http://www.paramind.net




Posted By: appudds
Date Posted: October 28 2012 at 01:06
For me, complexity is not just playing technical stuff or odd time signature crazy stuff. Many can do it. It is nowadays not a big deal. But what is complexity is how you are able to bring emotion/feel out of such technical music. That is where your true musicianship lies. There are a lot of bands which have full emotion but no technicality as well as bands that have only technicality but no emotion. How you are able to balance them is where complexity lies. And I feel the genre of progressive is one of the few genres which have been able to do that and that is why prog is so great. From the 70s till date, there are a lot of bands which were able to master that balance and that is why they are legendary. Being a drummer and composer of my band, I tend to make technical stuff as it is fun to play but I don't get the emotion running within me which I get when I play songs of say, Tull or Yes or SB or TA or DT, etc. This is where my other band mates come in to add new dimensions to the music Smile
Hence, this is where I work on to improve myself as a musician on the whole to strive for that perfect balance. 
And I think everyone ought to work on that in order to achieve high complexity in music and to improve themselves as musicians. If you reach that level of complexity, you not only feel happy and enjoy it but also reach another dimension. 


Posted By: Dayvenkirq
Date Posted: October 28 2012 at 02:12
Originally posted by Manuel

for me, complexities is mainly a factor product of orchestration ad arrangements. Sometimes musicians get to entangled in complexity, making their music a little dull. complexity is good, provided it conveys the emotions and the ideas the music is meant to express.

Exactly my thought.


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"People tell you life is short. ... No, it's not. Life is long. Especially if you make the wrong decisions." - Chris Rock


Posted By: HarbouringTheSoul
Date Posted: October 28 2012 at 04:36
Complexity subverts the expectations of the listener, which is what can make it so enjoyable. If a song does something that you didn't expect it to do, that can be very satisfying as long as it still makes sense in the context of the song. That said, it can also be very enjoyable for a song to do exactly what you thought it would do.


Posted By: Sumdeus
Date Posted: October 28 2012 at 05:03
I don't think music should strive to be complicated exactly, when it does that it gets kinda over the top and without a point. I think most prog is complex simply because the musicians were trying to make interesting music and it ended up complex. I also think it can be complex in many different ways. Some music I made might just be a jam centered around two chords but I would layer so many different parts that I still think it is complex music to take in, even if the structure isn't as complicated as something like Yes or Gentle Giant


Posted By: moshkito
Date Posted: October 28 2012 at 17:41
Originally posted by HarbouringTheSoul

... as long as it still makes sense in the context of the song. ...
 
I really think that this is exactly what populist and commercial tastes are all about. And when all one can say is discuss the "context of a song", you lose sight of the complexity! Why? ... a "song" is one of the simplistic forms of music there is!
 
So sorry ... that would suggest that this discussion is not progressive and is not about music ... just about one little facet in music that popular music experts do not like to admit is much more simplistic than REAL music out there, and acredit some rock music by people that DEFINITLY know the difference and were not interested in a simplistic format!
 
In general, adding complexity to a "song" is a waste of time ... you do not have enough time to develop the theme and make it work within the 3, 4 or 5 minute context for your ears ... so why bother with more experienced and better musicianship (or music for that matter) ... when just a top ten singer that simply has a voice with some good notes on it, and has no ability to extend that beyond the "pop song" singing routines.
 
Enjoyment has nothing to do with complexity or simplicity ... or next thing you gonna tell me that you having ___ with your girlfriend is a complex song .. ohhh yeah ... you have to get her flowers, make sure you do not spit on the carpet, that you do not show up late when she's ready to __________ .... your analogy is silly ... please see that, so you can FREE the music to live ... think of the music as a person ... so you will be saying that the complexity makes sense as long as it is within this person named ... your girlfriend ... kinda silly ... 
 
There is no such thing as "as long as it makes sense in the song" ... and specially when almost all of the 20th century history of music has been about countering the process and the standard that it was defined by ... and then rock and jazz got here, and they set the music back 300 years with its simplicity ... because you certainly are not talking about a guitarist that does 10 to 15 minute pieces, or a violinist that does that ... !!!


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... none of the hits, none of the time ... you might actually find your own art, or self, and forego lousy heroes or Guru's!

www.pedrosena.com


Posted By: HarbouringTheSoul
Date Posted: October 28 2012 at 18:18
I would like to give an in-depth answer to your post, but quite frankly I'm not sure if I correctly understood a single word you said. A little, uh, coherence would be appreciated. So let me just say this: When I say "song", I mean it colloquially, in the broadest possible (and admittedly inaccurate) sense. The definition of a "song" requires that it have vocals, but like many other people I incorrectly refer to all types of compositions in rock music as "songs". A bad habit, if you will. By the way, this also disproves your claim that a song is a simplistic form of music: It's not a form at all. Any composition with vocals is a song, regardless of its content or complexity.

What I meant with "as long as it still makes sense in the context of the song" is that complexity should always be in service of the composition. Subverting expectations is good as long as the composition still follows an internal logic. A bunch of non-sequiturs make for a very complex composition, but also a very incoherent one. I'm not saying that something is only complex when it's enjoyable. I'm saying that complexity is only good when it's enjoyable. Complexity is not a virtue by itself, it is a tool like any other that can be employed to good or bad effect.

And that rock music reversed or set back the development of music is an odd thing to say in a progressive rock forum. If that is indeed so, the music we all enjoy must be a futile exercise is developing a genre that is degenerated and useless to begin with.



Posted By: rogerthat
Date Posted: October 28 2012 at 20:55
^^^  I have had this problem a few times before on this forum while using the words "song" or "songwriting" because, like you, I tend to use them broadly and not specifically w.r.t the likes of Burt Bacharach.   There exists a certain viewpoint that looks at 'progressive' purely from the standpoint of liberating composition from the limitations of "song" and from such a perspective jazz and rock would look like a step backwards than forwards.  But I'd rather look at all the shades of expression they added to music, at all the new sounds they've brought.  

His point is well made (but expressed unfortunately in a confusing manner), though, that adding complexity to a song in the strict sense of the word is pointless.  Which is why I rarely find prog vocals particularly sumptuous for my taste - it can't be when the vocal sections are just interjected between long instrumental passages.  The argument I have heard to that is that's like opera but it's not strictly like opera either.  It's an unorthodox structure, like others prog devised in the 70s for its peculiar needs, but one that ultimately doesn't really let the singer shine.  In that case, why have a singer at all...just have instrumental compositions which might facilitate deeper development of good musical ideas.


Posted By: octopus-4
Date Posted: October 29 2012 at 10:01
A complex good song for me has to have a good balance between predictability and unpredictability. The listener needs to be surprised but not always. Our brain can anticipate what comes next once a structure is perceived, but if it happens throughout all the song you are listening to the quack-quack-dance. On the other side, with absolutely no structure the risk is that one gets tired and loose interest before the song ends. 

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Curiosity killed a cat, Schroedinger only half.


Posted By: moshkito
Date Posted: October 29 2012 at 14:58
Originally posted by octopus-4

...
On the other side, with absolutely no structure the risk is that one gets tired and loose interest before the song ends....
 
 
Which is incorrect for me, btw ...when there is absolutely no structure and/or design, it is left for the "here and now" to enjoy and appreciate.  There is nothing to get tired of, since ... you are looking at something that is not specifying to you, any kind of anything that you might know, and your mind is likely to want to take the challenge and see if they can find something with it.
 
This is the hard point for structure/nostructure issues ... since when you have structure, you are much more likely to get bored, since you already know what is going to happen ... but if the musician is a good "psychic" you will be surprised all the way to the end ... and enjoy it!
 
But rock fans, and pop music fans, are not exatcly known for appreciating the lack of structure, btw ... so your comment is suggesting that no structure is more boring than a structure ... and there is nothing more boring than the repetition of a structure or already knowing what is coming ... guess what "progressive" was about? ... throw the damn structures away! ... as for it being complex or not ... that's a joke!


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... none of the hits, none of the time ... you might actually find your own art, or self, and forego lousy heroes or Guru's!

www.pedrosena.com


Posted By: moshkito
Date Posted: October 29 2012 at 15:11
Originally posted by HarbouringTheSoul

I would like to give an in-depth answer to your post, but quite frankly I'm not sure if I correctly understood a single word you said. A little, uh, coherence would be appreciated. So let me just say this: When I say "song", I mean it colloquially, in the broadest possible (and admittedly inaccurate) sense. The definition of a "song" requires that it have vocals, but like many other people I incorrectly refer to all types of compositions in rock music as "songs". A bad habit, if you will. By the way, this also disproves your claim that a song is a simplistic form of music: It's not a form at all. Any composition with vocals is a song, regardless of its content or complexity.

What I meant with "as long as it still makes sense in the context of the song" is that complexity should always be in service of the composition. Subverting expectations is good as long as the composition still follows an internal logic. A bunch of non-sequiturs make for a very complex composition, but also a very incoherent one. I'm not saying that something is only complex when it's enjoyable. I'm saying that complexity is only good when it's enjoyable. Complexity is not a virtue by itself, it is a tool like any other that can be employed to good or bad effect.

And that rock music reversed or set back the development of music is an odd thing to say in a progressive rock forum. If that is indeed so, the music we all enjoy must be a futile exercise is developing a genre that is degenerated and useless to begin with.

 
Actually, you I would like to suggest that you are not reading my post. I, at least, made an effort to appreciate your comments and ideas, which you are not affording me, and not even asking!
 
Regardless of your personal definition of "song", a "song" is ONE of the simplest forms of music EVER created. As such, deciding that it should or should not have a relationship to "complext" or "simple" structures which define/aid your enjoyment, is a bit ... nuts! It goes in all directions ... sort of like the sun, and it doesn't matter if you are on its equator, or above it ... you're still gonna feel the energy and the power ... regardless of the complexity or simplicity of its physics!
 
It is also an issue, when someone got up, took a fart, played it backwards and used it in a song ... and you thought that it was far out and added to the complexity of the piece ... because it's timing and placement were supreme ... and in the end, the joke is on you ... and NOT what most artists really worry about when they create a piece of music, a painting, or write a story!
 
You're making a supposition that goes like this ... write a story ... subvert and change portions of the story to create suspense ... turn it weird over there on page 13 to make it stranger ... turn page 48 upside down to make it ... complex ... and when you look at it in its entirety and frame it ... it's complex, because you can not figure out a structure that is 1) logical and 2) fits your idea of logic and 3) accepted by academic standards that give you a degree!
 
The great thing about "progressive" from its inception, was its FREEDOM ... and even Rick Wakeman is finally using that term ... and you are stating, it seems, that this freedom can not be free form, has to have a structure (not a freedom anymore!) and must comform to something or other ... and that is wrong ... complexity is an "after the fact" issue ... and has nothing to do with most creativity ... go see the krautrock special and pay attention to Edgar Froese's words ... go hear Rick Wakeman talk in that awards thing ... go read Florian's words in that interview ... it's not about "complex" ... sometimes it is about ... just doing it, and you do not know what you did until after it was done ... and that "moment" has NOTHING on "enjoyment" ... it has to do with here and now ... not then, before or after!
 
Enjoyment has nothing to do with either ... you enjoy sleeping with a nice warm blanket ... that's enjoyment ... not complexity ... and music does the same for you ... and if it does not give you that warmth, it is not music that you like ... and of course, your argument for complext, idiotic, or simple, goes out the door, I suppose?
 
 
 
 


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... none of the hits, none of the time ... you might actually find your own art, or self, and forego lousy heroes or Guru's!

www.pedrosena.com


Posted By: octopus-4
Date Posted: October 29 2012 at 15:21
Originally posted by moshkito

Originally posted by octopus-4

...
On the other side, with absolutely no structure the risk is that one gets tired and loose interest before the song ends....
 
 
Which is incorrect for me, btw ...when there is absolutely no structure and/or design, it is left for the "here and now" to enjoy and appreciate.  There is nothing to get tired of, since ... you are looking at something that is not specifying to you, any kind of anything that you might know, and your mind is likely to want to take the challenge and see if they can find something with it.
 
This is the hard point for structure/nostructure issues ... since when you have structure, you are much more likely to get bored, since you already know what is going to happen ... but if the musician is a good "psychic" you will be surprised all the way to the end ... and enjoy it!
 
But rock fans, and pop music fans, are not exatcly known for appreciating the lack of structure, btw ... so your comment is suggesting that no structure is more boring than a structure ... and there is nothing more boring than the repetition of a structure or already knowing what is coming ... guess what "progressive" was about? ... throw the damn structures away! ... as for it being complex or not ... that's a joke!
To clarify: I think you can find a sort of structure even in the longest atonal drone of Phrozenlight. I don't mean "structure" in the sense of a song with a chorus every 16 beats. structure can be the recurring of a sequence of sounds, something that even if not predictable is at least "recognisable". Let me draw a couple of examples: the central noisy movement of A Saucerful of Secrets is extremely structured but not very predictable. Some of the Senmuth's worst songs are predictable, especially if you know his music, but totally unstructured, with unneeded changes of pitch and passages which seem to be wanting to seem "unusual" but are totally disconnected from the rest of the track. A number of unpredictable passages with no connection one to each other are not avantgarde or experimental. They are just patchworks. This is what I mean with "no structure". Halfway there is Oldfield's Tubular Bells. It's an unstructured patchwork of structured and somewhat predictable short movements. 

All what I have written is a simplification, of course. The same sequence of notes played by different instruments can have various effects on the listener. There's a huge difference between "Drafted" played by Mel Collins at the sax on Nude and the same notes played live by Latimer on guitar on The Single Factor. Still on Camel the low pitched vocals of  Chris Rainbow on the studio version of Fingertips sounds light years better than the high pitched vocals of Colin Bass, and I love Colin's voice. Nothing to do with structure, maybe about predictability.


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Curiosity killed a cat, Schroedinger only half.


Posted By: HarbouringTheSoul
Date Posted: October 29 2012 at 16:29
Originally posted by moshkito

Actually, you I would like to suggest that you are not reading my post. I, at least, made an effort to appreciate your comments and ideas, which you are not affording me, and not even asking!

I did read your post. But it was so incoherent that I wasn't able to make any sense of it. Same with this post. If you want to participate in a discussion, you have to communicate in such a way that the other side understands what you're saying.


Posted By: Dayvenkirq
Date Posted: October 29 2012 at 16:48
^ So, I'm definitely not alone on this one. Pedro, stop smoking pot.

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"People tell you life is short. ... No, it's not. Life is long. Especially if you make the wrong decisions." - Chris Rock


Posted By: progbethyname
Date Posted: October 29 2012 at 20:40
^ I got what he was saying it just wasn't worded as well as it could have been. No big. I'm the king of ambiguity anyway, so I shouldn't talk. Worst part is that I don't even smoke pot. Just do acid. Lol. Anyway, for music to be complex is completely subjective I think in most areas. We can yammer on about structure and composition or even definitions of sounds, but the fact remains that what sounds simple to you could sound ridiculously complex to someone else. I choose not to fight this battle with others. Not being a cop out or anything I just feel its too subjective. Complex is too complex in this regard.

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LIVE AND LET LIVE


Posted By: infocat
Date Posted: October 29 2012 at 21:54
I don't usually read moshkito's posts.  They are too complex.

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Frank Swarbrick
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Belief is not Truth.


Posted By: Ambient Hurricanes
Date Posted: October 29 2012 at 22:00
^^^Guys, English is Pedro's third language or something.  He does the best he can to get his point across with a limited knowledge of the language, so there's no need to get on his back about not being coherent.

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In blood, he's writing the lyrics of a brand new tune.


Posted By: progbethyname
Date Posted: October 29 2012 at 22:20
^ I gathered that. Anyway, I understood what he was driving at and he has created a very thoughtful and intellegent form. Thank you PEDRO!! Consider my mind blown!!

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LIVE AND LET LIVE


Posted By: Dayvenkirq
Date Posted: October 29 2012 at 23:54
OK, I take back what I said. Sorry, Pedro - my bad.

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"People tell you life is short. ... No, it's not. Life is long. Especially if you make the wrong decisions." - Chris Rock


Posted By: progbethyname
Date Posted: October 30 2012 at 05:45
Originally posted by Dayvenkirq


OK, I take back what I said. Sorry, Pedro - my bad.


Wow. You are nicer these days. I wonder what's been put in your cool aid these days? I like it. Very sportsman like.

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LIVE AND LET LIVE


Posted By: Tom Ozric
Date Posted: October 30 2012 at 06:43
Some different angles of complexity.......
Anglagard (damn, I can't get 'accents' to work...) are complex rhythmically and melodically, sonically - obviously.  Hawkwind are complex - but in a more layered, arranged way.  The amount of detailed sounds and sonic colours added to their simple 2 or 3 chord jams makes their music dense and somewhat complex.  The Beatles play (mostly) Pop music, but even there some of their arrangements are complex (yeah, I too wish Tomorrow Never Knows was about 10 mins long....)
Bruce Springsteen is NOT complex - Born in The U.S.A. is, well, insipid.........apologies if any readers here enjoy that one but I can't......... 


Posted By: progger7
Date Posted: October 30 2012 at 09:44
odd time signatures give me an erection.

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Posted By: Dayvenkirq
Date Posted: October 30 2012 at 10:29
Oh, god, not this again.

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"People tell you life is short. ... No, it's not. Life is long. Especially if you make the wrong decisions." - Chris Rock


Posted By: progbethyname
Date Posted: October 30 2012 at 10:36
[
Bruce Springsteen is NOT complex - Born in The U.S.A. is, well, insipid.........apologies if any readers here enjoy that one but I can't......... 
[/QUOTE]

Finally. Somebody hears and sees it like I do. Can't stand Springsteen as well man. He's voice is comical to me. It's Adam Sandlers fault from SNL

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LIVE AND LET LIVE


Posted By: moshkito
Date Posted: October 30 2012 at 14:35
Originally posted by progbethyname

^ I gathered that. Anyway, I understood what he was driving at and he has created a very thoughtful and intellegent form. Thank you PEDRO!! Consider my mind blown!!
 
I try ... sometimes it doesn't help that for me all this stuff is a VISUAL experience, and it is harder to define those as they tend to have their own language ... and a public board can be tough, but all in all, I try hard to understand what is being said, and would not post something if I did not feel it helped the argument ... and it is not "personal", because in this place, the number of outstanding folks writing and working with this stuff is far above and beyond ... what one could possibly ask or want.
 
It's also something that comes with the TIME and the PLACE ... since the late 60's and early 70's were a GOD-send for experimental music and what not ... that today is NOT possible ... and today's folks, as well meaning as they are about the music discussion, are not very good at discussing these moments, most of which  ... are ... personal ... in the first place.
 
To give you an even further idea ... Daevid Allen and Robert Wyatt and Gilly Smith, are by far the best/only beat poets left ... and this is from the Burroughs, Ginsburg, Syd farm ... so we say that some of this stuff is really complex ... and they are just flying on words regardless of any meaning whatsoever ... they can read a phone book and make you cry! ... what is complex is how they did it, which they might not be able to describe ... not anything else ... but we might tape it ... and all of a sudden listen to Ginsburg do his anti-war poem in "Tonite We All Love in London" ... and all of a sudden what was live, without memorex, is insanely visual, clear ... and excellent.
 
We have to be careful when asking this ... because we're making it look like its something that is inherant in the piece ... and it might not have been at all! We're not the composers or the creators ... we're the listeners, and as such our opinions might, or might not, have anything to do with the original reality ... and this is the part that we are getting lost on in the discussion.


-------------
... none of the hits, none of the time ... you might actually find your own art, or self, and forego lousy heroes or Guru's!

www.pedrosena.com


Posted By: Ytse_Jam
Date Posted: October 30 2012 at 15:10
I have to say I often enjoy complex compositions (both technical difficulty and complexity of the arrangement) even when they are clearly complex for the sake of complexity, but it's not my only meter when it comes to music. I like when the artist uses complexity to create something new and interesting. Also I think nobody could really decide when complexity is useless or not. If someone likes it, it's not useless. BTW, I enjoy a lot of different stuff, even the most simple. Some of my favourite artists never made a song that it's not in 4/4.


Posted By: progbethyname
Date Posted: October 30 2012 at 19:45
Originally posted by moshkito


Originally posted by progbethyname

^ I gathered that. Anyway, I understood what he was driving at and he has created a very thoughtful and intellegent form. Thank you PEDRO!! Consider my mind blown!!

 
I try ... sometimes it doesn't help that for me all this stuff is a VISUAL experience, and it is harder to define those as they tend to have their own language ... and a public board can be tough, but all in all, I try hard to understand what is being said, and would not post something if I did not feel it helped the argument ... and it is not "personal", because in this place, the number of outstanding folks writing and working with this stuff is far above and beyond ... what one could possibly ask or want.
 
It's also something that comes with the TIME and the PLACE ... since the late 60's and early 70's were a GOD-send for experimental music and what not ... that today is NOT possible ... and today's folks, as well meaning as they are about the music discussion, are not very good at discussing these moments, most of which  ... are ... personal ... in the first place.
 
To give you an even further idea ... Daevid Allen and Robert Wyatt and Gilly Smith, are by far the best/only beat poets left ... and this is from the Burroughs, Ginsburg, Syd farm ... so we say that some of this stuff is really complex ... and they are just flying on words regardless of any meaning whatsoever ... they can read a phone book and make you cry! ... what is complex is how they did it, which they might not be able to describe ... not anything else ... but we might tape it ... and all of a sudden listen to Ginsburg do his anti-war poem in "Tonite We All Love in London" ... and all of a sudden what was live, without memorex, is insanely visual, clear ... and excellent.
 
We have to be careful when asking this ... because we're making it look like its something that is inherant in the piece ... and it might not have been at all! We're not the composers or the creators ... we're the listeners, and as such our opinions might, or might not, have anything to do with the original reality ... and this is the part that we are getting lost on in the discussion.


You are clearly a cut above ROSETTA STONE my friend, which is a pretty awesome TOOL song by the way. I think I will listten to it in your honor dear sir. Keep on proggin prog brother.

-------------
LIVE AND LET LIVE


Posted By: prog4evr
Date Posted: October 31 2012 at 00:37
Originally posted by progbethyname

[Bruce Springsteen is NOT complex - Born in The U.S.A. is, well, insipid.........apologies if any readers here enjoy that one but I can't......... 

Finally. Somebody hears and sees it like I do. Can't stand Springsteen as well man. He's voice is comical to me. It's Adam Sandlers fault from SNL [/QUOTE]
Reminds me of when I was living in LA as a teenager in the mid-1970s, totally into early- and mid-70s prog at the time.  The LA Times music reviewer (I forget his name - and I am glad!) pontificated wildly about how inane progressive rock groups were; they did not even have a personal identity.  Then, came Springsteen in 1975 (thanks to a lot of contrived media hype - especially appearing on the cover of Time magazine) and this LA Times reviewer waxes eloquently about how refreshing Springsteen is, and so new; even with a personal identity - "Bruce Springsteen" - that everyone could relate to.  Needless to say, I lost total respect for the LA Times music reviews, and never - to this day - stand to listen to anything ever recorded by that propped-up poster-boy Springsteen...


Posted By: octopus-4
Date Posted: October 31 2012 at 01:09
Originally posted by prog4evr

Originally posted by progbethyname

[Bruce Springsteen is NOT complex - Born in The U.S.A. is, well, insipid.........apologies if any readers here enjoy that one but I can't......... 

Finally. Somebody hears and sees it like I do. Can't stand Springsteen as well man. He's voice is comical to me. It's Adam Sandlers fault from SNL
Reminds me of when I was living in LA as a teenager in the mid-1970s, totally into early- and mid-70s prog at the time.  The LA Times music reviewer (I forget his name - and I am glad!) pontificated wildly about how inane progressive rock groups were; they did not even have a personal identity.  Then, came Springsteen in 1975 (thanks to a lot of contrived media hype - especially appearing on the cover of Time magazine) and this LA Times reviewer waxes eloquently about how refreshing Springsteen is, and so new; even with a personal identity - "Bruce Springsteen" - that everyone could relate to.  Needless to say, I lost total respect for the LA Times music reviews, and never - to this day - stand to listen to anything ever recorded by that propped-up poster-boy Springsteen...
[/QUOTE]
I purchased "Greetings from Ashbury Park" I think in 1978. I stil have to finish listening to it and probably I will never. There's still a lot of Bob Dylan , Arlo Guthrie and CSN &Y to waste time with Springsteen.


-------------
Curiosity killed a cat, Schroedinger only half.


Posted By: Tom Ozric
Date Posted: October 31 2012 at 01:23
I only mention Springsteen as an example of blatant simplicity (particularly that 'Born....' song) - he's very popular, relates to the masses, he's probably quite rich etc. but this is where Prog and complexities are needed to counter-balance foolish noise like this.  I'm sure if you presented Bruce with something like Pawn Hearts, it would have him grimacing for hours, days, years........he is a singer who plays guitar, not a musician.......(if you know what I'm getting at...).....his forte is all about simplicity and he obviously wins with that, but boy does he get under my skin.......


Posted By: HarbouringTheSoul
Date Posted: October 31 2012 at 04:02
Lots of hate for Springsteen here... Am I the only one who likes "Dancing in the Dark"?


Posted By: Neelus
Date Posted: October 31 2012 at 04:03
Originally posted by moshkito

Originally posted by progbethyname

^ I gathered that. Anyway, I understood what he was driving at and he has created a very thoughtful and intellegent form. Thank you PEDRO!! Consider my mind blown!!
 
It's also something that comes with the TIME and the PLACE ... since the late 60's and early 70's were a GOD-send for experimental music and what not ... that today is NOT possible ... and today's folks, as well meaning as they are about the music discussion, are not very good at discussing these moments, most of which  ... are ... personal ... in the first place.
 


Not to stoke a fire or anything, but you also have to be careful making it look like the younger generations have no sense in discussing this classic art form, as then it appears that you are implying that it should die with your generation.


Posted By: Dayvenkirq
Date Posted: October 31 2012 at 10:27
Originally posted by HarbouringTheSoul

Lots of hate for Springsteen here... Am I the only one who likes "Dancing in the Dark"?
I like only a few of his songs. Other than that, ... may god have mercy on his soul for being so boring and getting all American with his boobs in our faces.


-------------
"People tell you life is short. ... No, it's not. Life is long. Especially if you make the wrong decisions." - Chris Rock


Posted By: moshkito
Date Posted: October 31 2012 at 10:43
[QUOTE=octopus-4]
Reminds me of when I was living in LA as a teenager in the mid-1970s, totally into early- and mid-70s prog at the time.  The LA Times music reviewer (I forget his name - and I am glad!) pontificated wildly about how inane progressive rock groups were; they did not even have a personal identity.  
...
 
Robert HIlburn?
 
A veritable turkey that did not like music and was paid off by several music companies ... it was obvious.
 
Much to his chagrin, the groups he did not like made it really big and that got him mad ... one of these was Pink Floyd, and he didn't like the fact that Jim Ladd and then KMET, and KLOS got the credit and the kudos for some of these English bands, and then he went after the 2nd rate bands ... let's see ... he liked Sailor, Cockney Rebel, Nazareth and
a few others!
 
All in all, we already knew, that someone like him had no taste in music anyway and he was just another kid spouting crap about music.
 
Springsteen is not bad ... he's very good ... but he really is a commercial product, rather than an artist per se ... but the NY media makes more of this because he can sell 100k albums in a couple of hours over there, and that makes him important in the media ... and LA does not like to drag behind NY's skirts!
 
All in all, NONE, of the public reviewers, were ever intelligent enough in America, to even come close to the more insightful reviews adn comments made on Melody Maker or equivalent in London ... that's not to say that Lester Bangs was any better, but he was much more honest and direct than anyone else in LA, NY, or even SF. In SF you could only rely on Michael ODonohue ... until aids raked all of the folks from that ear in music! The abuses, was something that these reviewers never had the balls to attack ... to help save the music!


-------------
... none of the hits, none of the time ... you might actually find your own art, or self, and forego lousy heroes or Guru's!

www.pedrosena.com


Posted By: moshkito
Date Posted: October 31 2012 at 11:16
Originally posted by Neelus

Originally posted by moshkito

Originally posted by progbethyname

^ I gathered that. Anyway, I understood what he was driving at and he has created a very thoughtful and intellegent form. Thank you PEDRO!! Consider my mind blown!!
 
It's also something that comes with the TIME and the PLACE ... since the late 60's and early 70's were a GOD-send for experimental music and what not ... that today is NOT possible ... and today's folks, as well meaning as they are about the music discussion, are not very good at discussing these moments, most of which  ... are ... personal ... in the first place.
 


Not to stoke a fire or anything, but you also have to be careful making it look like the younger generations have no sense in discussing this classic art form, as then it appears that you are implying that it should die with your generation.
 
Not intended that way at all ... the point is/was that ... when the listening you have is wide, as ours was ... in those days AM was different from FM, and your friend was playing something else totally different ... today, the drumbeat in most of the bands listed is almost the same complete with the Bill Bruford snare drum ... louder each time to tell you that you are not a musician that can count silently, and after 40 years, if all the friends I have ever had are any indication, you lose the ability to keep an open mind for listening to music ... somehow, after a long time, you kind of make sense to many of those different things ... and if you spend time in many of these posts, there are a LOT of youngsters that are showing excellent abilities of listening, but right away someone kills it by asking for your favorite or best drummer! The most subjective and bizarre of all questions ... !!!
 
All in all, music does DIE with the generation, and I consider my generation an important one ... as so many artists are remembered on so many different areas of music ... but if you don't have the ear for "music" and understand the value of a Miles, or Keith Jarrett, or Henry Mancini, or Bernard Herrmann ... the whole thing tends to get blown up and wasted in "favorites".
 
And favorites will die faster than the real giants! But today, people are listening to "styles" ... which we NEVER did!


-------------
... none of the hits, none of the time ... you might actually find your own art, or self, and forego lousy heroes or Guru's!

www.pedrosena.com


Posted By: octopus-4
Date Posted: October 31 2012 at 11:23
Originally posted by Dayvenkirq

Originally posted by HarbouringTheSoul

Lots of hate for Springsteen here... Am I the only one who likes "Dancing in the Dark"?
I like only a few of his songs. Other than that, ... may god have mercy on his soul for being so boring and getting all American with his boobs in our faces.
Probably digging a bit in his discography we can find something decent, but I don't feel this need. There's already so many good stuff around that one life is not enough to listen to everything.


-------------
Curiosity killed a cat, Schroedinger only half.


Posted By: rogerthat
Date Posted: October 31 2012 at 11:29
Originally posted by moshkito


and after 40 years, if all the friends I have ever had are any indication, you lose the ability to keep an open mind for listening to music ... somehow, after a long time, you kind of make sense to many of those different things ... and if you spend time in many of these posts, there are a LOT of youngsters that are showing excellent abilities of listening, but right away someone kills it by asking for your favorite or best drummer! The most subjective and bizarre of all questions ... !!!
 


Very valid points, though I don't think it is specific to youngsters.  I think age is no bar when it comes to formulating opinions without enough information but I do agree that comparison only gets in the way of appreciating more music if you cannot retain your objectivity. 

As for drummers, not all of them sound the same.  Matt Chamberlain is a wonderful drummer and so is Charley Dayton.  I really appreciate some of Phil Seway's work.  Unfortunately, there's a kind of nerd like mentality prevalent in music discussions that just rejects anything that doesn't fit the "citius, altius, fortius" motto.  Anything that is subtle, tasteful and creative ought to be eschewed in favour of the fast and the flashy, that's the way it goes.


Posted By: moshkito
Date Posted: October 31 2012 at 11:36
Originally posted by octopus-4

Originally posted by Dayvenkirq

Originally posted by HarbouringTheSoul

Lots of hate for Springsteen here... Am I the only one who likes "Dancing in the Dark"?
I like only a few of his songs. Other than that, ... may god have mercy on his soul for being so boring and getting all American with his boobs in our faces.
Probably digging a bit in his discography we can find something decent, but I don't feel this need. There's already so many good stuff around that one life is not enough to listen to everything.
 
I think it was one of those London specials, or something ... that Springsteen played on, and Shankar (double violinist from India) was there with him ... and Bruce goes ... what key you in, man? ... and Shankar goes ... you, my friend, no worry about the key I play ... you just play and join in!
 
I don't think that we had to "know" music that much ... but it kinda tells you that Bruce is not as much about the feel of it, as he thinks he is?


-------------
... none of the hits, none of the time ... you might actually find your own art, or self, and forego lousy heroes or Guru's!

www.pedrosena.com


Posted By: TODDLER
Date Posted: October 31 2012 at 19:19

I feel drawn to arrangements. Those who have the talent to arrange complex sections to fall perfectly in place. Musican/composers often utilize this so called channel. Energy levels that are spiritual or of the underworld channel through a musician and they may create a piece of music that is beautiful in complexity and melodic form. The musician doesn't have to believe in a religion. Musicians are fearful regarding what can be produced by their own hands. When this energy weirdness wakes the musician from their sleep..they hear the notes , run downstairs, turn on the recorder and play. They don't seem to have control over what kind of specific energy channels through them. They don't usually ask questions to the unknown. They just compose, release it from their creative mind and move on. I know prog musicians experience this and I like the concept.



Posted By: Aquiring the Taste
Date Posted: October 31 2012 at 22:18
"It is our goal to expand the frontiers of contemporarary popular music at the risk of being very unpopular"
" From the outset we have abandoned all preconceived thoughts on blatant commersialism. Instead we hope to give you something far more substantial & fulfilling. All you need to do is to is sit back, and acquire the taste"   GG.
The true essence of prgressive of  music IMO.


Posted By: Dayvenkirq
Date Posted: October 31 2012 at 23:18
^ For your information, "acquire" is spelt with a "c" before "q".

-------------
"People tell you life is short. ... No, it's not. Life is long. Especially if you make the wrong decisions." - Chris Rock


Posted By: prog4evr
Date Posted: October 31 2012 at 23:24
Originally posted by moshkito

 
Robert HIlburn?
A veritable turkey that did not like music and was paid off by several music companies ... it was obvious.
Yes, thank you, Moshkito!  Actually - no.  Now, that I remember who that "turkey" is, I am getting upset with him all over again!


Posted By: prog4evr
Date Posted: October 31 2012 at 23:26
Originally posted by HarbouringTheSoul

Lots of hate for Springsteen here... Am I the only one who likes "Dancing in the Dark"?
Stone the heretic!!  Who's with me?!?


Posted By: Dayvenkirq
Date Posted: October 31 2012 at 23:49
^ We are proggers, not barbarians, muchacho.

-------------
"People tell you life is short. ... No, it's not. Life is long. Especially if you make the wrong decisions." - Chris Rock


Posted By: Tom Ozric
Date Posted: October 31 2012 at 23:54
Did I open a can of worms ???


Posted By: Dayvenkirq
Date Posted: November 01 2012 at 00:05
^ Depends on how you look at it. We have spent an entire page on Springsteen when in fact we should just go ...

Back to topic


-------------
"People tell you life is short. ... No, it's not. Life is long. Especially if you make the wrong decisions." - Chris Rock


Posted By: M27Barney
Date Posted: November 01 2012 at 13:16
Originally posted by prog4evr

Originally posted by HarbouringTheSoul

Lots of hate for Springsteen here... Am I the only one who likes "Dancing in the Dark"?
Stone the heretic!!  Who's with me?!?
I have never intentionally listed to any Springstein - I have had it played at me - it has no resonance with me - I don't think he should be stoned...put him in a sensory depravation tank and play him prog epics one after the other till he sees the pointlessness of the Commerically acceptible product that Springstein produces......

-------------
Play me my song.....Here it comes again.......


Posted By: Ytse_Jam
Date Posted: November 02 2012 at 07:33
Hell, Born in the USA is a very good album


Posted By: progbethyname
Date Posted: November 02 2012 at 12:00
[QUOTE=Dayvenkirq] ^ For your information, "acquire" is spelt with a "c" before "q".[/QUOTE

your on fire today.

-------------
LIVE AND LET LIVE


Posted By: progbethyname
Date Posted: November 02 2012 at 12:05
Originally posted by octopus-4


Originally posted by prog4evr


Originally posted by progbethyname

[Bruce Springsteen is NOT complex - Born in The U.S.A. is, well, insipid.........apologies if any readers here enjoy that one but I can't......... 

Finally. Somebody hears and sees it like I do. Can't stand Springsteen as well man. He's voice is comical to me. It's Adam Sandlers fault from SNL

Reminds me of when I was living in LA as a teenager in the mid-1970s, totally into early- and mid-70s prog at the time.  The LA Times music reviewer (I forget his name - and I am glad!) pontificated wildly about how inane progressive rock groups were; they did not even have a personal identity.  Then, came Springsteen in 1975 (thanks to a lot of contrived media hype - especially appearing on the cover of Time magazine) and this LA Times reviewer waxes eloquently about how refreshing Springsteen is, and so new; even with a personal identity - "Bruce Springsteen" - that everyone could relate to.  Needless to say, I lost total respect for the LA Times music reviews, and never - to this day - stand to listen to anything ever recorded by that propped-up poster-boy Springsteen...

I purchased "Greetings from Ashbury Park" I think in 1978. I stil have to finish listening to it and probably I will never. There's still a lot of Bob Dylan , Arlo Guthrie and CSN &Y to waste time with Springsteen.
[/QUOTE]

AMEN brother!! Stay away from L.A! Ooooh that rhymes. Anyway, burn Ashbury park and then buy ARENA and IQ's discography. Let the healing begin. Lol

-------------
LIVE AND LET LIVE


Posted By: Eerichtho
Date Posted: November 02 2012 at 12:06
Originally posted by Dayvenkirq

Originally posted by Manuel

for me, complexities is mainly a factor product of orchestration ad arrangements. Sometimes musicians get to entangled in complexity, making their music a little dull. complexity is good, provided it conveys the emotions and the ideas the music is meant to express.

Exactly my thought.

At first thought, this sounds all real right. But I cannot think of a single example in prog where a piece is bad because it's too complex.

Name one.


Posted By: Dayvenkirq
Date Posted: November 02 2012 at 12:12
^ GG's "The Boys in the Band".

On a sidenote: guys, please, stop that with Springsteen! We already spent one page on that guy, and that had nothing (if not barely anything) to do with the thread's topic.


-------------
"People tell you life is short. ... No, it's not. Life is long. Especially if you make the wrong decisions." - Chris Rock


Posted By: Eerichtho
Date Posted: November 02 2012 at 12:26
Cannot agree with that at all.

Octopus is brilliant, all round. Though I'm reluctant in doing so - I'd like to think complexity is only a good thing.

Meshuggah may possibly be a counter-example I'd consider. But even with them, I'd say they don't have ANY melodic or harmonic complexity, so that nullifies any interesting rhytmical structures, if *these* even can be called complex (they repeat a pattern mostly, with slight variations - that's hardly all-out complex).


Posted By: thellama73
Date Posted: November 02 2012 at 12:28
Originally posted by Dayvenkirq



On a sidenote: guys, please, stop that with Springsteen! We already spent one page on that guy, and that had nothing (if not barely anything) to do with the thread's topic.


No!

I am not afraid to admit that I find Springsteen's first three albums excellent, particularly The Wild , The Innocent and the E St. Shuffle. Some of the tracks on that one are almost proggy (New York City Serenade, Incident on 57th ST.) After that, however, I agree that he became depressingly uninspired and uninteresting.


-------------


Posted By: HarbouringTheSoul
Date Posted: November 02 2012 at 12:35
Originally posted by M27Barney

I don't think he should be stoned...put him in a sensory depravation tank and play him prog epics one after the other till he sees the pointlessness of the Commerically acceptible product that Springstein produces......

LOL Sorry, I wasn't aware that my preferences were objectively wrong. I'll get around to changing them.

Originally posted by Dayvenkirq

^ GG's "The Boys in the Band".

Really? I don't find it any more complex than the other songs on that album. Frankly, it is a very complex album, but I always found it to be a very catchy album too. Now you might dislike "The Boys in the Band" for a myriad of reasons, but if it's too complex for its own sake, how come you don't dislike the rest of the album on the same grounds (unless you actually do)?


Posted By: progbethyname
Date Posted: November 02 2012 at 13:18
SPRINGSTEEN is my kryptonite. Playing his sound is a great way to kill me.....slowly

-------------
LIVE AND LET LIVE


Posted By: thellama73
Date Posted: November 02 2012 at 13:23
Originally posted by progbethyname

SPRINGSTEEN is my kryptonite.


Do you mean that you consider him to equivalent to the Three Doors Down song "Kryptonite?"


-------------


Posted By: Dayvenkirq
Date Posted: November 02 2012 at 14:02
Originally posted by HarbouringTheSoul

Originally posted by Dayvenkirq

^ GG's "The Boys in the Band".

Really? I don't find it any more complex than the other songs on that album. Frankly, it is a very complex album, but I always found it to be a very catchy album too. Now you might dislike "The Boys in the Band" for a myriad of reasons, but if it's too complex for its own sake, how come you don't dislike the rest of the album on the same grounds (unless you actually do)?
That song is certainly more complex than "A Cry For Everyone". I'm having a really hard time remembering what comes after the first few notes of the ... ahem ... motif on "The Boys in the Band". And no, I do not have a myriad of reasons to dislike it! Plus, I kind of like "Knots". Reminds me of Faust a bit.

-------------
"People tell you life is short. ... No, it's not. Life is long. Especially if you make the wrong decisions." - Chris Rock


Posted By: Dayvenkirq
Date Posted: November 02 2012 at 14:05
Originally posted by thellama73

Originally posted by Dayvenkirq



On a sidenote: guys, please, stop that with Springsteen! We already spent one page on that guy, and that had nothing (if not barely anything) to do with the thread's topic.


No!

I am not afraid to admit that I find Springsteen's first three albums excellent, particularly The Wild , The Innocent and the E St. Shuffle. Some of the tracks on that one are almost proggy (New York City Serenade, Incident on 57th ST.) After that, however, I agree that he became depressingly uninspired and uninteresting.

All I'm saying is that what we really derailed the previous page of the thread, ... and we can do better than that. 


-------------
"People tell you life is short. ... No, it's not. Life is long. Especially if you make the wrong decisions." - Chris Rock


Posted By: Ambient Hurricanes
Date Posted: November 02 2012 at 14:09
^Sometimes thread derailings can be ok.

-------------
In blood, he's writing the lyrics of a brand new tune.


Posted By: Dayvenkirq
Date Posted: November 02 2012 at 14:34
OK, ... well, as long the thread is not totally twisted and turned topic-wise for pages and pages, I'm cool with that.

-------------
"People tell you life is short. ... No, it's not. Life is long. Especially if you make the wrong decisions." - Chris Rock


Posted By: octopus-4
Date Posted: November 02 2012 at 14:51
Originally posted by Ytse_Jam

Hell, Born in the USA is a very good album
Honestly I don't think so.Unhappy


-------------
Curiosity killed a cat, Schroedinger only half.


Posted By: thellama73
Date Posted: November 02 2012 at 15:00
Originally posted by Dayvenkirq

OK, ... well, as long the thread is not totally twisted and turned topic-wise for pages and pages, I'm cool with that.


To people like me, thread topics are jumping off points, not rails that are meant to be stayed on. Smile


-------------


Posted By: Neelus
Date Posted: November 02 2012 at 15:12
Here is a little present to this thread...
[TUBE]IxuThNgl3YA[/TUBE]


Posted By: Ytse_Jam
Date Posted: November 02 2012 at 17:29
Originally posted by octopus-4

Originally posted by Ytse_Jam

Hell, Born in the USA is a very good album
Honestly I don't think so.Unhappy
I know most of the people here don't, but i kinda like 80s pop sometimes..


Posted By: Alitare
Date Posted: November 02 2012 at 17:50
[TUBE]UA7v0zknMCo[/TUBE]


That's my favorite Springsteen song (and it's off my favorite Springsteen album, the only one I love). I could do without the Born albums. I don't much care for the blubber of The River. Nebraska's alright for dusty, barren neo-folk type. The first couple albums were sharp in a tight 'jam' like thing. I pretty much hate everything else. The critics heaped praise on his newest work. I suspect they'd have done it even if it was the worst album on the planet. 


-------------
He gave her his town house and his racing horses. Each meal she ate was a dozen courses. She had a million dollars worth of nickels and dimes. She sat around and counted them all a million times.


Posted By: HarbouringTheSoul
Date Posted: November 02 2012 at 18:30
Originally posted by Dayvenkirq

That song is certainly more complex than "A Cry For Everyone".

Not particularly. "A Cry for Everyone" might have a riff that's built out of 'simple' power chords, but if you try to actually isolate it from the song, you will find that it's quite long-winded. And there are millions of other bits in the song, like the way the keyboard and guitar dance around each other while playing the same lick in the 'main' instrumental and the way the bassline from that part is repurposed as a riff in the middle section. It's a much more complex than it might seem at first. It's catchier than "The Boys in the Band" though, I'll give you that.

Originally posted by Dayvenkirq

I'm having a really hard time remembering what comes after the first few notes of the ... ahem ... motif on "The Boys in the Band".

That 'motif' is indeed almost impossible to sing or remember exactly in your head. It's way too fast and rhythmically complex. But as a test, try singing the aforementioned riff from "A Cry for Everyone" out loud without listening to the song beforehand. The other motifs, if you will, in "The Boys in the Band" are quite a bit less twisted and more 'singable'. I assume that what makes the song hard to remember for you is not the fact that it's complex, but the fact that it has no vocals that you can associate it with. It's always easier to associate GG songs with their vocal parts because you can actually remember them precisely in your head.

In fact, I myself ignored the song for a long time because I didn't actively listen to the album. I had it on as background music (my preferred method of getting acquainted with new music)´, so the vocal parts caught my attention a lot more than the instrumental. Listening to "The Boys in the Band" a more closely was necessary to get an idea of what's going on. And listening "A Cry for Everyone" more closely, I was surprised with how much is going on in that song that I wasn't really aware of before.

Originally posted by Dayvenkirq

And no, I do not have a myriad of reasons to dislike it!

That's not what I meant to say. What I meant was "there are many possible reasons for which you might dislike the song", not "you might dislike this song for many reasons at once".


Posted By: Dayvenkirq
Date Posted: November 02 2012 at 18:45
^ Will keep all those points in mind ... though I do think that I pretty much nailed that hook from "A Cry For Everyone" in my head. Smile ... Ermm

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"People tell you life is short. ... No, it's not. Life is long. Especially if you make the wrong decisions." - Chris Rock


Posted By: HarbouringTheSoul
Date Posted: November 02 2012 at 19:01
Originally posted by Dayvenkirq

though I do think that I pretty much nailed that hook from "A Cry For Everyone" in my head.

Really? I can sing the vocal melody without a problem, but I have a very hard time remembering exactly how the riff that underpins it goes.

(Not saying I don't believe you, but I find it very impressive if you can remember it that well)


Posted By: Dayvenkirq
Date Posted: November 02 2012 at 19:10
^ Oh, yeah ... they play it a few a times in the song ... and I must have heard it three times in a single day. Don't forget it that it's my most favorite part in the whole song.

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"People tell you life is short. ... No, it's not. Life is long. Especially if you make the wrong decisions." - Chris Rock


Posted By: moshkito
Date Posted: November 03 2012 at 18:11
Originally posted by TODDLER

They just compose, release it from their creative mind and move on. I know prog musicians experience this and I like the concept.

 
All musicians and composers have a form of this ... in fact all "artists" have it, and this is the part that is hard for many people to deal with when it comes to "art" versus a commercial product. The "populist idea of music, is a concept that tells the artist what to do, based on what the "audience" likes and buys ... and this -- generally -- means that the person putting together the work is either a slave to that audience (money is a really good prostitute!), or he/she will not abide to be a slave,and do his own thing.
 
The history of "progressive" music is about people that never quit on their "world" ... and they are all "eccentrics" in many ways that not many of us can relate to. You can talk all day about Peter ... and realize ... how could he and his band survive? ... you have to commit to the work ... not anything else. THAT has beenone of the most valuable things about Peter Hammill and VdGG -- the sheer independence of it all. Same goes for Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze and only a handful of folks that never gave in to the slavery concept. All of their work is about their inner ability to articulate their work -- and share it with us!
 
The other music, I do NOT suspect, since what I do in my own writing of poems is similar ... my dreams become short stories and my visions the poems ... since I see my "inner movie" really well, and MUSIC, for me, is about illustrating that ... nothing else, btw! If the music does not illustrate anything for me (like Bruce has to do with lyrics), I tune out ... because sometimes it is just an emotional cry-out in the name of art ... and while I believe that everyone has a right to do that, not all of them have the right to steal the "inner truth" and lie to you for the sake of commercialism!  Or use the "show" to sell you something that is supposed to be valuable ... but is not ... it's coloring by numbers!
 
That said, it is always strange when you hear Deuter and he says that it is all dedicated to the Rajneesh, and you listen to the music ... gee ... must be nice ... rich folks just having food sex, dope a little religion and ... ohh yeah ... some far out music while you're at it! That's a bit hard to take, and smacks of crap and vanity! And the same for many "Christian" this and that the love to use a quote or two, and that makes them "religious", or worse ... "channellers" ... just like you and I can not sit here and channel Stephen King, or Aleister Crowley ... it's down right hippocritical ... and besides, why the heck would anyone not want to "quote the father" (otherwise known as quote the inner source!), and instead rely on second rate definitions and translations? ... yeah!
 
Remember that it's NOT a concept for many of us ... it is WHAT we SEE ... and thus the difference in the wording ...and sometimes the tough part in explaining things. You have to be able to see that in the person ... is he/she writing what they see, or are they just telling you how to think --- how socialistic and commercial that is, hey?


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... none of the hits, none of the time ... you might actually find your own art, or self, and forego lousy heroes or Guru's!

www.pedrosena.com


Posted By: My Dreaming Hill
Date Posted: November 03 2012 at 19:16
Originally posted by Dayvenkirq


Originally posted by Manuel

for me, complexities is mainly a factor product of orchestration ad arrangements. Sometimes musicians get to entangled in complexity, making their music a little dull. complexity is good, provided it conveys the emotions and the ideas the music is meant to express.

Exactly my thought.
I also agree.

My pet peeve with this, though, is how some bands (typically metal) refuse to touch back on previous movements. Their songs are however many minutes of this -> this -> this with no sense of.. completion, I guess.

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Posted By: HarbouringTheSoul
Date Posted: November 03 2012 at 19:19
Originally posted by moshkito

and while I believe that everyone has a right to do that, not all of them have the right to steal the "inner truth" and lie to you for the sake of commercialism!

Everybody has a right to make any music. And I find it presumptuous that you would base your assessment of a piece of music on what you think is the intent behind it - you usually have no way of knowing if your assumption is correct. To dismiss an album just because you assume it was made with a commercial intent is not only close-minded but besides the point: What's important is the quality of music, not the intent of the composer.


Posted By: Jellybeantiger
Date Posted: November 03 2012 at 21:34
I reckon the old prog bands of the 70s hit a great balance between complexity and songwriting whereas bands like Dream Theater and Porcupine Tree leave me cold.
 
I've tried and tried and tried to get my hooks into those 2 bands but they just don't get me in a sweat like when I put on some headphones and listen to The Lamb or Animals or TAAB.
 
I don't know why.
 
The same thing with alot of modern fusion to great fusion like Mahavishnu or Brand X.
 
Sometimes too much complexity overshadows the soul of the music.
 
 
 


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Trying to spread the good prog to mud eared Aussies.


Posted By: Ytse_Jam
Date Posted: November 04 2012 at 06:56
^ Who says complexity could't be part of that soul?


Posted By: AtomicCrimsonRush
Date Posted: November 04 2012 at 07:12
odd time sigs, complex arrangements, unusual instrumentation, innovative structures, quirky tempo changes

two words

GENTLE GIANT!

Just heard In A Glass House and reviewed it - here are some of my thoughts...


t begins with glass smashing, as if stones were being thrown into windows in a rhythmic meter, on the warm melodic ‘The Runaway’, and this classic song is literally shattering the boundaries from the outset. Gentle Giant love to break walls of musical boundaries down as is evident on all of their earlier albums. The fractured guitar rhythms, percussion and keyboards are thrown about like stones exploding into shatters as they hit their target. This album certainly has it’s fair share of quirky pieces such as ‘An Inmate’s Lullaby’, a paean to a mental institution, with a ton of crazy glockenspiel, a seizure of guitar chords, and insane time sigs throughout. The polyphonic or metronomic time sigs are prevalent with some of the oddest switches in musical tempos you will hear. The music bounces all over the place and injects that whimsical sense of fun; the band never took themselves as seriously as their critics.




That's complexity and enjoyment


‘Experience’ opens side two with glorious fanfare, along with that weird high vocal register and some wonderful basslines. The music is a circus sideshow of keyboard whimsy and frantic guitar spasms. The sigs are twisted into shapes and turned inside out and the band keep up, tighter beyond compare. The glockenspiel is followed by courtly a capella harmonies, the trademark of Gentle Giant. The lead break is fat and muscular and I like how the more forced vocals break through the technical layers of music. 



That's complexity and enjoyment






‘In a Glass House’ ends the album on a mini epic, opening with intricate phrases on bass, drums, violin, mandolin, chimes and whatever else they could get their hands on. The medieval troubadour flair is obvious and the vocals have a nice rhythm spouting imagery of some fanciful musings.
 The instrumental break is incredible with tons of brass, woodwind and a dynamic bass punctuation. It is complex and impossible to emulate but incredibly infectious.  When it breaks into the heavy guitar riff I am completely entranced by this amazing composition. This is quite possibly the greatest gentle Giant song, they saved the best for last. It features the weird little courtly moments of Elizabethan charm sandwiched in between the heavy guitar augmentations, that seems to be playing in a 29/8 time sig if that were possible, though Gentle Giant make it possible. It ends with another pot shot of glass breaking and thus a legendary album was thrown through the glass house of the musical industry to the masses. 





That's complexity and enjoyment




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Posted By: progbethyname
Date Posted: November 04 2012 at 13:45
Originally posted by thellama73


Originally posted by progbethyname

SPRINGSTEEN is my kryptonite.
Do you mean that you consider him to equivalent to the Three Doors Down song "Kryptonite?"


Oh that song has a great intro and that's it for me. Too repetitive. SPRINGSTEEN just really doesn't work for me. His sound is like 4 walls slowly closing in on me. Also, my ex girlfriend loved him and all I can say is that she and Bruce deserve each other cause they are both as equally annoying. ;)

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LIVE AND LET LIVE


Posted By: coupons
Date Posted: November 05 2012 at 05:34
Thanks for the above post it has all the vital i9nfos to add up to the flavour

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Posted By: progbethyname
Date Posted: November 05 2012 at 12:59
DREAM THEATER's METROPOLIS pt2: SCENES OF A MEMORY. For me, I was and still am blown away by the technical majesty of that album.

Complex? ---extreamly. Song arrangements are wild. Instrumentation is at maximum capacity. Mike Portnoy drumming is unreal. He plays as though he has 8 arms. I dont know how anyone can play like that.

Enjoyment?---you better believe it!!! Honestly, what's not to like?

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LIVE AND LET LIVE


Posted By: Guldbamsen
Date Posted: November 05 2012 at 13:03
When I first saw this thread I immediately thought of National Health. 

How's this for complex and enjoyable?
[TUBE]i9XPH9cUvvg[/TUBE]


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“The Guide says there is an art to flying or rather a knack. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.”
- Douglas Adams


Posted By: AtomicCrimsonRush
Date Posted: November 06 2012 at 05:44
Originally posted by Guldbamsen

When I first saw this thread I immediately thought of National Health. 

How's this for complex and enjoyable?
[TUBE]i9XPH9cUvvg[/TUBE]


Oh yes!!!!!!ClapClapClapClapClap


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Posted By: moshkito
Date Posted: November 06 2012 at 11:34
Originally posted by AtomicCrimsonRush

odd time sigs, complex arrangements, unusual instrumentation, innovative structures, quirky tempo changes

two words

GENTLE GIANT!

Just heard In A Glass House and reviewed it - here are some of my thoughts...

...
 
You might want to check out that small interview with Gary Green in Italy talking about the music ... and most of it was not even written down he says! They just played.
 
This pretty much tells you that there was an idea, maybe some vocals they wanted, but in the end, what went under it, was all ... wide open ... and it appears they did anything they wanted ... and managed to make it work ... and I believe that it takes an insane open-ness and attention to have fun with the details to make this work ... and it did!
 
I do think that it fell out a bit when they were "forced" ... to follow more strict rock'n'roll guidelines ... that kinda took the sails out of their work. The later albums are nowhere near as good, or as fun, as the early ones.
 
This puts another spin on "music" that us as progressive something or other, can not even conceive ... and on top of it ... dig this ... on their encore when I saw them, they did this piece ... and during it, all members played drums, guitar, bass, keyboards ... everything! ... all the way to the end ... like they would do 10 bas and move ... 20 bars and move ... and it was obvious that the musicianship and the fun, RULED!
 
This is lost today, and then some!


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... none of the hits, none of the time ... you might actually find your own art, or self, and forego lousy heroes or Guru's!

www.pedrosena.com


Posted By: Surrealist
Date Posted: November 06 2012 at 12:12
I reckon the old prog bands of the 70s hit a great balance between complexity and songwriting whereas bands like Dream Theater and Porcupine Tree leave me cold.
 
I've tried and tried and tried to get my hooks into those 2 bands but they just don't get me in a sweat like when I put on some headphones and listen to The Lamb or Animals or TAAB.
 
I don't know why.
 
The same thing with alot of modern fusion to great fusion like Mahavishnu or Brand X.
 
Sometimes too much complexity overshadows the soul of the music.

I could not agree more.  I would add that too much distortion on the guitars covers up the articulations of the player so the music dies.  Few have made it work, but the ones that did took the more classical approach to the endless sustain and used it more as a texture than trying to play a gazzillion notes which just turns to mud.  I saw Dream Theater this summer only because we went to see the Crimson guys.. and DT was the most boring thing I have ever seen.  My wife actually fell asleep during the show and she loves stuff like Crimson and Vander Graf. 

I don't think Metal has any place in Prog... I would much rather listen to early Sabbath or Judas Priest if I want Metal.

The Metal prog bands use Metal to cover up what they don't know how to do.. which is to articulate the music into something that hits the listener with something more emotionally mysterious.


Posted By: timothy leary
Date Posted: November 06 2012 at 12:25
Walter reincarnated


Posted By: Ytse_Jam
Date Posted: November 06 2012 at 12:29
^ So you say metal cannot be prog because DT bored you? I think this is a bit superficial... Or maybe you think that different genres cannot stay together, but.. isn't it what prog is about? 


Posted By: progbethyname
Date Posted: November 06 2012 at 14:10
Originally posted by Surrealist


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I reckon the old prog bands of the 70s hit a great balance between
complexity and songwriting whereas bands like Dream Theater and
Porcupine Tree leave me cold.
 
I've
tried and tried and tried to get my hooks into those 2 bands but they
just don't get me in a sweat like when I put on some headphones and
listen to The Lamb or Animals or TAAB.
 
I don't know why.
 
The same thing with alot of modern fusion to great fusion like Mahavishnu or Brand X.
 
Sometimes too much complexity overshadows the soul of the music.I could not agree more.  I would add that too much distortion on the guitars covers up the articulations of the player so the music dies.  Few have made it work, but the ones that did took the more classical approach to the endless sustain and used it more as a texture than trying to play a gazzillion notes which just turns to mud.  I saw Dream Theater this summer only because we went to see the Crimson guys.. and DT was the most boring thing I have ever seen.  My wife actually fell asleep during the show and she loves stuff like Crimson and Vander Graf.  I don't think Metal has any place in Prog... I would much rather listen to early Sabbath or Judas Priest if I want Metal.The Metal prog bands use Metal to cover up what they don't know how to do.. which is to articulate the music into something that hits the listener with something more emotionally mysterious.



I cannot begin to tell you how I disagree with what you said here. I think you are way out of line to say that metal all together should be disbanded from the prog genre itself. It has no place to you? Wow. That is pretty cold man. DT are one of the more charming bands that prog has to offer in general. And to site that the metal aspect of their sound is just a way to cover up what they don't know. Listen, your gonna have to explain that one more thoroughly. Explain to me what they should know?? What technical aspect or fluidity is lacking? Aghhhhhh I am not mad but.....

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LIVE AND LET LIVE


Posted By: rogerthat
Date Posted: November 06 2012 at 18:50
Originally posted by Surrealist

I

I don't think Metal has any place in Prog... 

Do you know that Fripp wanted to make a metal album with Red?


Posted By: Surrealist
Date Posted: November 06 2012 at 19:45
For one... if you look at "Red" which is a great example... the guitars are very raw.  You can feel the playing.  I was working out back in the studio today and happened to put on the first Rush album.  I hadn't listened to it in years.  I also played in on vinyl and while I would call it a hard rock album.. you can hear the prog coming... and Alex's playing is so free and natural sounding. 

I was listening to Tarkus yesterday and again.. it is so raw and natural sounding compared to today's homogenized releases that everyone is doing on ProTools. 

I am sure that if you put the guitar tracks, bass tracks.. drum tracks into any digital editing program.. those tracks would not look good.. they would look awful and today's engineers would be burning the midnight oil fixing all the problems...

Metal works when it breathes and feels like humans playing, it really needs that.  This over produced digital metal that everyone is buying into is what killed progressive rock in the first place.  Fripp never lost sight of tone.  Lifeson went back to a more raw sound. 

The prog guys of the 70's had the listener's attention because they could play so well, so freely and naturally, and it was believable.  They all had their own sound also. Howe with his trebley tone, Hackett with the compressed sustain and all the acoustic playing, Fripp with his unique sound, and all the rock greats had their own sound.. Page, Hendrix, Beck, Santana, Clapton, Schenker, Roth even Van Halen.  The Dream theater guitar sound is the overdone heavy distortion sound that sounds like you plugged into a rack at "Guitar Center".  So unoriginal.. and so unprogressive. 





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