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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2007 10:53 pm
by Gordon Neill
Adam asked:

when shall we see talent like that again?

The answer is... never. The word 'great' is used too often about lesser talents. But Aretha was truly great. What a voice. Apologies for the lateness of the clip. An earlier performance would have been better, but slimmer.

Re: Cut!

PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2007 11:13 pm
by judith
Gordon Neill wrote: PS Nice clip Judith (or Jayne). But it isn't over until the fat lady sings. Here she is.

Surely. I liked my clip, but I like yours better.



PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2007 1:00 am
by howard male
Norman wrote -

No, I cannot explain why someone should feel provoked by something you have written, no more than I can fully understand why you might feel embarrassed by my earlier comments.

I responded in haste and 'embarrassed' was the wrong word. What I should have said was that your response both hurt and baffled me rather than embarrassed me.

I know you and Garth are mates, but I thought Garth's response to my quite reasonable points delivered in a reasonable and light tone (I have learnt something over the past couple of years writing on this forum) didn't warrant such a blunt and abusive response, and I was surprised that you jumped to his defence and suggested I provoked him into insulting me. When you wrote -

'am I the only one to have noticed a pattern here? Maybe I'm the only one to draw attention to it as I will do now. Howard, you've been involved in quite a few spats on this Forum over the years'

- I was upset and dismayed that you imply from this statement that I am to blame for what have been juvenile and unpleasantly personal attacks on me in the face of arguments that my spatees could find no reasoned responses to. This is why they've ended up as 'spats' rather than developing as debates - not my fault.

Yes, I provoke, but I'm never personal and I never say someone else's taste in music is crap or undeveloped. What's the point? It's a dead-end.

Norman wrote -

I am surprised that you found my last post above publicly embarrassing for you. More so than the one above from Garth?

I think Garth should be embarrassed by his post, not me.

PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2007 2:04 am
by garth cartwright
Not embarrassed - but apologetic: being knocked off your bike does not lend one a good mood. I think there's lots of misreadings going on here - my post that you took umbridge to was not meant sarcastically: i was suggesting if you listened to some Chess from a rock fan's pov u might be able to (a)report why great blues doesn't move rock fans (b) pick up on lots of clues to where your faves got a lot of material and ideas from. But you replied in a patronising manner that pissed me off. And, H, you do have a gift for upsetting people - whether its offerings on onanism, chastising forum members for not attending Chilli Fried or, hey, lazily dismissing blues you certainly attract more abrasive replies than any other SOTW contributor. So maybe the lesson here is we should both chill a little before rushing to criticise.

Re the points you raised: Q is bitchy, trashy pop-rock hackery and exists solely as that. Word comes wrapped in smug, middle class English condescension and is so conservative it makes Q resemble The Wire. No surprise its publisher and editor are close mates of T Blair - maybe they designed the magazine for him. And your reply just struck me as exactly what i would find in that bible of white rock supremacy. I remember Charlie once chastising Mojo on the radio for its list of guitar heros (mo white than black). Mojo is flawed but one million times superior to Word. I respect Nutz more than Word.
Blues: you don't understand the genre - and it's not the Impressionism of music but the Renaissance: 20th century popular music begins with that weird fusion of black and white Southern US musics we call blues - so let it pass. Dismissing it as boring/scratchy/black people dont buy it etc is just juvenile, especially when yr heros Dave and Marc have lifted many a Chess riff (Adam can fill you in on what riff to what song).
Impressionism: you don't like Degas, Pissaro, Cezanne, Manet? I can feel another fight coming on . . .

PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2007 9:01 am
by Adam Blake
Hmmm... Blues as Renaissance?? Not sure about that. Interesting, though. I'd have thought jazz was closer to that description, somehow. Blues only really brought its massive influence to bear in the second half of the 20th C. Jazz, although a slightly younger form, WAS the pop music of the late 30s and early 40s (amazing to think of!) and watered-down jazz had been informing pop music for a good ten years before that. (See all those wonderfully mad songs the Bonzos used to revive.)

Anyway, it's all subjective, but it's all good stuff! Hope you're not too scuffed from falling off your bike. I've bin there, man!

PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2007 9:41 am
by Charlie
howard male wrote:I don't own some Chess box set is because, quite frankly, the form bores the pants of me when there's so much else going on, on the planet which is musically more interesting. One or two budget comps is all you need to get the point. It offers no surprises.

I don't know if Howard does it on purpose or if it just comes naturally to him, but he has a knack of going one step further than feels comfortable, in order to make his point. But by doing so, he really does make his point!

Back when I was doing Honky Tonk in the 70s, I tried to keep up with blues reissues along with new releases and exploring other American 'roots' music like gospel, cajun, etc.

But gradually I got more and more dispirited as companies started digging ever deeper into the blues vaults, including a series of box sets from Chess called Genesis, including lots of previously unissued takes as well as the well known good stuff. And the more of it came out, the less I liked any of it. I started to think, maybe I don't really like the blues after all. It was one of several reasons why I gave up Honky Tonk, because I felt an obligation to play the kind of music I thought the listeners wanted to hear, but I couldn't do it if I didn't like it myself. The same thing hapoened between me and rockabilly - there was too much of it, man, too much. So Stuart Colman took over, happy to do what I could not. And now Paul Jones plays the blues on Radio 2, recently extended to 2 hours, and for me, most of it is repetitive and soon becomes unlistenable.

But when about five years ago Rhino issued a series of 20 single CDs, each of which cherry picked from across thirty of forty years to give us the best of Urban Blues, Texas Blues, Classic Women Blues, Harmonica Blues, etc, my enthusiasm revived.

It's absurd for Howard to say the blues offers no surprises, but it's a way of making a point. No need for the responses to be so personal. It's a debate we're having here, and of the highest order too most of the time.

It's great that people are putting their cases so eloquently and passionately, but keep it clean guys, no punches below the belt about our perceived social class (how 1930s is that?), sexuality, sartorial style or other irrelevant criteria.

PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2007 12:09 pm
by Adam Blake
I once had, for a short time, what seemed like the dream job for a blues buff. I was working part-time as a librarian in a digital radio station. They knew I liked blues and asked me if I would go through all their blues cd's and grade them according to content and "broadcastability". There were boxes of them. So for eight hours a day, I listened to blues records and graded them. It was like a fairies punishment. There are SO MANY terrible blues records out there! Virtually every bar band in America had made a cd of their club set and sent it off to every radio station they could find and I had to listen to them all. Oh, the torture! I promised myself I wouldn't cheat by cherry-picking so I would lucky dip (or unlucky dip) each time. When I would pull out a B B King, or an Albert King, or I remember vividly a Charles Brown cd, it was like joy of joys to actually hear someone who knew what they were doing.

Since then (about seven years ago) I have only bought old blues 45s when I could find them - usually by internet auction. I would infinitely prefer to spend $25 on a Little Walter or a Howlin' Wolf 45 that I know damn well is a classic, than £12 on some crumby box set of digitally re-mastered cd's that I know will be mostly disposable. It's typical Western capitalist/consumerist greed: You like this, huh? Have more of it. Have even more. Go on, have even more than that! What? You feel sick? What's the matter with you? Get your mind right and CONSUME, motherfu*ker...

It's always, always important to remember that this beautiful, wonderful, magical music that Howard dismisses so summarily was meant to be heard in bite-sized chunks: in two-and a half to three minute doses. When I get a particularly choice single I leave the arm across and let it repeat a few times - and really take it in. Then, when I'm good and ready, I'll risk the B side and, quite often, that's a gem too. Please guys, don't trash it. Cherish it. And I mean that most sincerely.

PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2007 12:13 pm
by NickH
Garth wrote:
Word comes wrapped in smug, middle class English condescension and is so conservative it makes Q resemble The Wire. No surprise its publisher and editor are close mates of T Blair - maybe they designed the magazine for him.

Indeed. Just before the May 2005 general election, Word published a lengthy interview between Mark Ellen and his chum Blair. Anton Corbign was hired to take some moody monochrome photos of a grinning Blair to accompany the interview. Any references to Blair's policies on privatisation of public services, or his enthusiastic support for the invasion of Iraq, were avoided. The resulting Ellen lifestyle piece was a truly nauseating piece of pre-election New Labour propoganda.

PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2007 12:36 pm
by howard male
OK, before we go any further - just so we are on an even footing - I'll say, apology accepted, Garth. The last thing I want to do is fall out with people here (believe it or not) We are both passionate about good music - that should be bringing us together rather than driving a wedge between us.

The trouble with this form (forum debate) is context often gets lost because readers (including each one of us) don't always follow the strand back to see how it ends up in a comment like 'blues bores the pants off me.'

I had to be worn down to deliver such a throwaway and slightly misleading statement. And if you found me patronising, it was because I was responding to you being patronising in the first place - or at least I perceived you as being patronising. In the interests of us having a forum relationship with less friction in the future, I'll try to explain.

Your initial assumption that I don't know what the blues sounds like, was about as patronising as you can get in my opinion. So I fired back by patronising you. End of story.

Here you go again in your latest post:

Garth wrote -

Blues: you don't understand the genre - and it's not the Impressionism of music but the Renaissance.

Now, I don't want to start this all up again, but if that isn't patronising, what is?

I would say I do understand the genre, even if I've not heard as much of it as you have. Perhaps we understand it in different ways (me as a musician, and I'd even go as far as to say, blues guitarist at times, and you as a critic) but I do understand it.

Garth wrote -

Impressionism: you don't like Degas, Pissaro, Cezanne, Manet? I can feel another fight coming on . . .

OK. This is the perfect example of a forum misunderstanding. You assumed I didn't like impressionism because I compare the blues to impressionism, which perhaps you assumed by which I meant - wishy-washy, pastel colours, nice landscapes etc. Whereas, what I actually meant was that Impressionism changed the face of painting forever just as the blues changed the face of music.

Although it was considered too modern (messy, crude, unfinished-looking) in the late 19th Century, those same images now grace bedroom walls, tea towels and coffee mugs across the planet. So, some days, impressionism bores the pants off me too - but I still love it! That's why I compared it to the blues. It's part of the planet's culture, it aint going anywhere, it's still great when your in the mood, but it's so much a part of our lives now that it's hard to comprehend that it was ever obscure and cutting edge. But most of the time I'd rather look at a Max Ernst or Anthony Gormley, or James Turrell. Or even a 15th Century Ethiopian icon painting.

So, of course I don't hate the blues, just as I don't hate reggae, but both these genres have suffered from the same overkill of too much stuff being available. I've got a shelves-worth of Trojan and other reggae box sets and still more stuff keeps coming out and it's been perhaps over a year since I played any reggae. So, I could have equally said reggae bores me. It's a statement which Charlie has so eloquently and perceptively got to the bottom of in his posting above; I'm bored of the idea of it because there's so much of it. Perhaps if we hadn't already been in the middle of an increasingly heated exchange (this is what I mean by context) I might have asked you, Garth, for one or two recommendations in this vast ocean of 'I woke up this morning' music, which might reawaken my jaded pallet. But we were in the middle of our virtual pub brawl, or virtual squash match if you prefer, so I just said, 'bah! Blues bores...etc etc."

Anyway, enough. I hope this has cleared up a few misunderstandings and I hope we can be pals again next time we meet. Likewise, Norman - and please Norman - smile as little as you like.

PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2007 12:39 pm
by Ted
Adam Blake wrote:Hmmm... Blues as Renaissance?? Not sure about that. Interesting, though. I'd have thought jazz was closer to that description,

Nah. Jazz is like the history of any art form ever, compressed into a hundred years. From its beginnings as an underground music in brothels (look you can quibble all you like about the starting point, these are broad brush strokes), to acceptance to widesparead popularity, to the development of a modernist avant-garde and into a form that only a minority could understand, to burn-out irrelevance.

It took european art a thousand years to do that.

And I'm in a bad mood because I've just dropped an Ampeg Super Reverb on my foot...


PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2007 1:46 pm
by Gordon Moore
So, all things considered, taking into account the ramifications and extrapolations and looking at things from both sides...

can I continue to listen to GM or not?

PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2007 2:00 pm
by Ted
Gordon Moore wrote:can I continue to listen to GM or not?

No. Go and find some records with Hubert Sumlin on them.


PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2007 2:40 pm
by Adam Blake
Ha Ha!! Seconded.

PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2007 3:02 pm
by Rob Hall
Maybe the problem lies in calling what it is that GM plays "blues" in the first place? I don't know his stuff but I can enjoy, for example, Steve Ray Vaughan if I'm in the right mood. I imagine that - questions of ability aside - SRV's music is in roughly the same territory as GM's? But I wouldn't call it blues. As far as I'm concerned it's rock music, plain and simple. It might be informed by the blues, but then there's an awful lot of music around that uses a reggae beat that ain't reggae.

PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2007 3:05 pm
by NormanD
howard male wrote:I hope we can be pals again next time we meet. Likewise, Norman - and please Norman - smile as little as you like.
This is as good as it getsImage