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HackettFan View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Henry Kaiser Appreciation Thread
    Posted: May 02 2015 at 18:20
This is an appreciation thread for Henry Kaiser. There are probably not too awful many HK fans worldwide, including at PA, so I won't be astonished if this thread grows a bit slowly. Nevertheless, HK has been around on the music scene since the early 80s or little longer. He has always been extremely innovative. He did quirky avant-garde work throughout the 80s, when it was far from popular to do so, and continues to do so today. For those at PA saying that there's nothing truly innovative anymore ought to give him a listen. It's hard to say where to start with his discography, because it's so huge and so varied. I'm certainly not going to try to encapsulate everything there is to say about HK in this one post. I can't do it. I propose trying to describe different aspects of the Henry Kaiser "elephant" post by post. I don't envision this as a blog, so help me out.

Also, we will probably not have all the same stuff of his. As I said, his discography is huge. I've never even seen a full discography, so let us all know you may happen to have, and what you think of it. It may well be one that someone else (including me) hasn't heard of.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 02 2015 at 18:34
The Henry Kaiser albums I own are:

With Friends Like These
With Enemies Like These, Who Needs Friends
Live, Love, Larf and Loaf
Moose and Salmon
Lemon Fish Tweezer
Tomorrow Knows Where you Live
Those Who Know History Are Doomed to Repeat It
Invisible Rays
Garden of Memory
Where Endless Meets Disappearing
Requia and Other Improvisations

Have I forgotten anything? Some of the albums above were collaborative efforts, some were not. Apologies for omitting the collaborators. I wanted to do this fast.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 02 2015 at 18:48
Try to find "The Mistakes" with Mike Keneally, Andy West and Prairie Prince.
Wonderful album.
Trust me. I know what I'm doing.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 02 2015 at 18:58
Originally posted by Evolver Evolver wrote:


Try to find "The Mistakes" with Mike Keneally, Andy West and Prairie Prince.
Wonderful album.
I will. I never seen or heard of this one. The title sounds like it's among the many improvisations he's been involved with. That's something that really appeals to me.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 03 2015 at 09:55
On Those Who Know History Are Doomed to Repeat It, embedded in the midst of some old time Zappa-like blues and pop pastiches, is a 30 minute Symph Prog epic called Dark Star/The Other One that would be of interest to most any PA member. No mellotron but plenty of violin. I couldn't find it on YouTube, but I did find Dark Star, which is a shorter 17 minute epic from another album I was unaware of called Eternity Blue. No violin on this version but lots of guitar revelry, so enjoy.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=XwH8PKr02ho

[Post Script: Since posting this I've learned that Dark Star is originally a Grateful Dead piece. Sorry for my ignorance.]

Edited by HackettFan - May 06 2015 at 17:07
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 03 2015 at 10:24
Speaking of guitar revelry, I really recommend Invisible Rays. I just purchased this album not long ago and it was my major catalyst for starting this thread. Lots of extended guitar with many pedal induced timbre changes (which are close to my heart as one might guess from my extensive pedal set up http://www.progarchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=100513&PN=3). The album has Trey Gunn on touch guitar, Henry Kaiser on guitar, and Morgan Ågren on drums and zither.

Here's the only track, The Magic Ring of Invisibility, from Invisible Rays I was able to find on YouTube: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=p2qVQ0yIRNY

Edited by HackettFan - May 03 2015 at 15:13
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 03 2015 at 10:45
The only CD I have is Those Who Know History, which is an interesting set of covers.  Who knew the theme from The Andy Griffin show had lyrics?
Released date are often when it it impacted you but recorded dates are when it really happened...

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 03 2015 at 12:14
Originally posted by Slartibartfast Slartibartfast wrote:

The only CD I have is Those Who Know History, which is an interesting set of covers.  Who knew the theme from The Andy Griffin show had lyrics?
Indeed That track reminds me a bit of Pentangle (or how I remember Pentangle to be, as I haven't given them a listen in quite a long time). This album is quite an eclectic mixture of stuff well represented in their respective styles, but with some subtle sense that it's okay to laugh when you feel the urge. Henry Kaiser is no stranger to humor. He has some real reverence for the blues, though too, as shows up on the album in I Love You, You Big Dummy and Alice in Blunderland/Mirror Man. There seems to be no album that represents HK's full range, even as varied as this one is.

Edited by HackettFan - May 03 2015 at 12:16
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 04 2015 at 23:33
Originally posted by HackettFan HackettFan wrote:

On Those Who Know History Are Doomed to Repeat It, embedded in the midst of some old time Zappa-like blues and pop pastiches, is a 30 minute Symph Prog epic called Dark Star/The Other One that would be of interest to most any PA member. No mellotron but plenty of violin. I couldn't find it on YouTube, but I did find Dark Star, which is a shorter 17 minute epic from another album I was unaware of called Eternity Blue. No violin on this version but lots of guitar revelry, so enjoy.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=XwH8PKr02ho


Even as I posted this I actually had Eternity Blue on order and didn't even recall it. I found it for a pretty good deal. I've got my eye on perhaps getting Celestial Squid next.

I know there are Henry Cow fans on PA. Has anyone, in following Fred Frith, come upon his collaborations with Henry Kaiser? (With Friends Like These..., and With Enemies Like These Who Needs Friends?). What do you think? I haven't investigated Henry Cow yet. I plan to.

Something Henry Kaiser does that is real cool, and pretty unusual if not unique, is he uses one or even two delays set at long time spans and uses it sort of like a looper, improvising to himself. He sounds like two guitars. The effect is really cool. He uses this technique throughout the whole album on Where Endless Meets Disappearing and on Garden of Memory.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 07 2015 at 20:12
Just got Eternity Blue and Popular Science. I especially like Popular Science. It swings back and forth between Avant-garde stuff and more accessible stuff. Nice guitar but also a lot of Synclavier used. For instance, track 18 Barking Dogs vs Minimalists applies some musical sensibilities to sampled dog barks, and is quite hilarious. It's followed up by Rattlesnake Round-Up Reprise, which contains some pretty wonderful blues. Still need to listen to them more to get real familiar. I also have Devil in the Drain on order and it's been shipped, but it hasn't arrived yet.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 08 2015 at 23:19
For your viewing pleasure. Here's a nice interview with Henry Kaiser on Dunlop TV:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWsaSphPvXM&list=RDOWsaSphPvXM&index=1
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