reviewers extraordinaire!

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Re: reviewers extraordinaire!

Postby steban » Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:47 pm

I just watched 30 Century Man, a documentary about Scott Walker.

It starts in the early days of the Walker Brothers, and the other involuntary listeners who passed through the living room all kinda liked it in an Everly Brothers sort of '65 pop rock way, and they absolutely hated it at the end during the current totally experimental phase of his career. At times it is like modern opera or modern symphonic music, but even though there is much interesting about it, a dark deepness if you will, it is nigh impossible to like.

His approach to experimental, however, is his, pure perfectionist and rejection of rhythm as we know it and it just drifts, like the name of his 2006 CD implies.

My approach is much sloppier, and my musical skills are very low, and I do not have access to roomfuls of trained musicians nor take years to produce a handful of songs. My eccentricities are raw and rough, and I believe my reviews are reflecting that.

So if either Sombrero or Money were paired with anything off Drift, one would probably see that he might score higher in performance and production, I might do well in accessibility, and that's OK.

Perhaps some or most might consider Scott far more experimental, I don't know, but I do know that one seeks something different within this genre, something original and hopefully also something new to discover that they like, and yet that is a tall order at best.

So if I get a serious listen and set of honest comments, I'm satisfied, and happy if any positive comments are noted.

I applaud you, Kim, for daring to experiment, or shall I say dare to call one song over another experimental enough to merit the label, because it is hard not to sound like other fused genres.

And thanks, cj, for such in depth reviews, you are my first Sombrero signature review!

I'll get back to doing more reviews once I'm no longer evacuated from all the wildfires. My home is so far safe, but it looks too close on the map. I wrote Dark Side of the Range (experimental also) about the southern California fires, which had a happy ending, and now Bailey says I should write one about my own, but I don't know if I have more to say about it. I might if my house burns down, but I hope not!
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Re: reviewers extraordinaire!

Postby cjdenecia » Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:09 am

you wanna hear experimental stebs? try the cale song "cocaine" with this jazzy pianist ... first song - intro.

http://www.mixcloud.com/sbcradio/swing- ... =cloudcast

now that is how yo play discordantly ... but from the POV of knowing vs not.
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Re: reviewers extraordinaire!

Postby steban » Wed Sep 14, 2011 4:22 am

cjdenecia wrote:you wanna hear experimental stebs? try the cale song "cocaine" with this jazzy pianist ... first song - intro.

http://www.mixcloud.com/sbcradio/swing- ... =cloudcast

now that is how yo play discordantly ... but from the POV of knowing vs not.


That is pretty much trad jazz, ceej, and yes, it is in its way, as an interpretation, experimental, and yes, there is a 'knowing' how to play discordant which is clear, but do these qualities make it more experimental? Or less?

If it sounds like a thousand other jazz interpretations but applied well to a new cover of someone else's song, what makes it experimental? What risks has the pianist taken to set his 'jazz' interp apart from all those others?

If I were to do the same cover playing with an out of tune guitar and broken out of time loops, I might claim my version was the more experimental, but if it is difficult to like because it 'knows not' how to play discordantly, is it too much like noise vs. music? And that is my point. You might confuse jazz with experimental and like the jazz of the one over the experimental of the other.

One thing that at GB always works against a song is not being a good fit for the genre. Country has too much rock, rock has too much jazz, jazz has too much pop, and on and on. So many songs do not have good fits for audiences who are accustomed to their genre of preference sounding a certain way.

Once you break ranks with your genre's norms you risk losing a majority of that genre's normal audience, and that applies equally even in experimental where one imagines there is no rule except that there are no rules.


Ay, there's the rub.
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Re: reviewers extraordinaire!

Postby cjdenecia » Sun Sep 18, 2011 11:10 pm

steban wrote:
cjdenecia wrote:you wanna hear experimental stebs? try the cale song "cocaine" with this jazzy pianist ... first song - intro.

http://www.mixcloud.com/sbcradio/swing- ... =cloudcast

now that is how yo play discordantly ... but from the POV of knowing vs not.


That is pretty much trad jazz, ceej,


no it's not. it's a jazzy noodle over a standard blues song. with dissonance over the top ... but it sounds experimental yet doesn't go out of tune with itself. it's certainly is not traditional jazz stebs. unless you can point me to a long line of similar ilked songs.

and yes, it is in its way, as an interpretation, experimental, and yes, there is a 'knowing' how to play discordant which is clear, but do these qualities make it more experimental? Or less?


more. cus the player really does know. and could play it straight- obviously. but doesn't ... they take it to places not traditionally heard in either jazz nor pop rock/blues. in fact, most blues "players" probably cringe at these sounds. so far out of the "box" (correct notes in blues scales according to the interval key) that not even mr super slop himself - jimmy page - would consider going this way.

If it sounds like a thousand other jazz interpretations but applied well to a new cover of someone else's song, what makes it experimental? What risks has the pianist taken to set his 'jazz' interp apart from all those others?


the experimentation is obvious. to me at least ... taking a well known song and twisting it's melody into this - it's brave. we all know cocaine. and we all know it straight up. there's the risk of hate. there's the chance of disdain - especially by purists. of blues. AND jazz, cus it's played over something the working man, the blue collar rocker wrote. with little regard for the perceived superiority of the jazzman. this rocks both boats. intentionally.

If I were to do the same cover playing with an out of tune guitar and broken out of time loops, I might claim my version was the more experimental, but if it is difficult to like because it 'knows not' how to play discordantly, is it too much like noise vs. music? And that is my point.


we are not gonna turn this into a stebs "diss" post or thread man ... but - yeah, as you describe it, it'd be noise. experimental is still required to be musical. with a wide birth but still musical. and out of time loops and tuning shit is not. so THAT (whether played by you or anyone) isn't experimental. that's just a term used to disguise non musicality sometimes. one is experimental, one is just bad. now, I'm not pointing that finger at you, cus you might have turned a corner on that recently - one way or the other, but more fingerpointing your argument.

You might confuse jazz with experimental and like the jazz of the one over the experimental of the other.


I really don't feel the least bit confused. in fact, quite the opposite. one is experimental cus it works a jazz approach over a conventional rock theme and what you're describing is just shite. easy. something a person could do the first time they even bothered to pick up a guitar or attempted to program a drum track. thereby cheapening the term "experimental". that would be a confused person. confusing themselves. you don't have to know all the rules. you don't have to be a virtuoso. but you have to be in control and be capable of choosing vs plodding. and falling short because of a lack of knowledge, natural 'ear' and performance chops. again, I must stress for the sake of not insulting YOU, I am attacking the concept you speak of - not you nor your playing nor writing.

the song I recently reviewed of you and probity ... a great example. not really experimental at all. very much musical - but not over the cutting edge of normal for various styles of rock music. it may not be entirely conventional but it doesn't stray off the beaten path at all ...

One thing that at GB always works against a song is not being a good fit for the genre. Country has too much rock, rock has too much jazz, jazz has too much pop, and on and on. So many songs do not have good fits for audiences who are accustomed to their genre of preference sounding a certain way.


no argument there. but that's an entirely different and somewhat irrelevant debate with my assertion that this song was in fact, discordant and quite experimental.

Once you break ranks with your genre's norms you risk losing a majority of that genre's normal audience, and that applies equally even in experimental where one imagines there is no rule except that there are no rules.


that's just not true man. there are always rules. one is that no matter the genre, no matter the style or the crossover of styles, it always has to be good to be considered for that description. it must command it's sound and not sound like it's being commanded by - of all things, a lack of knowledge (which is a number of things all wrapped into a nice neat 9 letter word)


Ay, there's the rub.


no rub at all. no matter how weird, not matter how off the wall - it's got to be superior. and to try to drag other genres into experimental when it's actually a question of the quality of workmanship is a disservice to those that actually are experimentally making good music.

.... one more post regarding this sub topic, btw - and I'm gonna have to split this up and move it to another unique thread elsewhere. which is not to say I don't want you to reply, only that if ...
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Re: reviewers extraordinaire!

Postby cjdenecia » Sun Sep 18, 2011 11:18 pm

back to the extraordinaire reviewers!

huge props to stebs for being the first refugee or audiopolis member to reach the 100 review mark!!! fabulous! and not a single one that I've read is cheap or quick or unworthy of being named a good review. which is reflected in the very respectable and above average reviewer rating and double digit featured reviews.

our first reviewing MVP award (if we had one) goes to steve bancroft (steban)!!! this, yeah, this - is leading by example. great job man, the staff of audiopolis is highly appreciative of your efforts and all those that have received your reviews ought to be equally thankful.

I'd do a hip hip hooray thing but I can't be bothered. if I could, now is the time I would though. instead I'll just say thanks and "don't stop dancing".
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Re: reviewers extraordinaire!

Postby HUD » Sun Sep 18, 2011 11:34 pm

to me this "Cocaine" is definitely jazz . Not calling myself a bigtime jazzer, but have spent some time with Miles Davis, John Coltrane & Dave Brubeck and such, I'd say this here (quite enjoyable) is no more experimental than those in terms of the modes/scales in play - very avaunt guard in their day, but not really experimental to my ears as for here & now. Not sure when the cut-off date is for "traditional jazz" though. I'd think of Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Mel Tormé, Louis Armstong as traditional myself.

But I definitely think the best experimental music I've heard (stuff I critiqued at GB and Ourstage) was anything but the tossing buckets of paint randomly on a wall approach. Zappa would be my favorite example of experimental, ingeniously and painstakingly thought out and performed. I really do think showing proficiency at simple exercises (if you can pass "Smoke on the Water"...) should be prerequisite prior to subjecting other people to your tunes, or prior to wandering off into exotic meters and scales and from there, into the violation.
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Re: reviewers extraordinaire!

Postby Steve Ison » Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:27 pm

Yeh-What cj said..Nice one Steban..Thats really cool of you..Def deserving of 'prize' even tho ones obviously not gonna be forthcoming// 8-)
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Re: reviewers extraordinaire!

Postby cjdenecia » Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:32 am

haven't had the chance to read every review written in my 3 plus weeks absence but those that I have had the pleasure of reading are great. all different according to each different reviewers style but all in all, just fabulous work! special thanks and props go out to peeve, hop, stebs, ison, hud and last but not least, my buddy ailwyn of the FRONTLINERS. seems he's been waiting for eons to have an outlet for his reviewing talents!

plus he's one of the few people on this planet I look up to. (he's 6'5" or 6'6")
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Re: reviewers extraordinaire!

Postby cjdenecia » Tue Nov 01, 2011 11:44 pm

kinda dropped off a little this week on the numbers but that's ok - some good quality writings and box tickin's .... but don't stop now kids, take a breath and gear back up for some more, there are lots of songs destined to enter round 2 with just a few more reviews (and as well, there's a few ready to be archived with lower scores after a few more)

it's all great for getting this who test pattern dialed in. and it's proving the system is working. please - as the willing partner says "don't stop".
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Re: reviewers extraordinaire!

Postby steban » Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:38 pm

Krispy, thank you for your extraordinairely long reviews!

I will probably make the 6000 stars review a sig, too, it's just a fun read. But I wish I understood the Fornacis reference, are you quoting from a book? Or are you writing a book inspired by the song?

No matter, I'd read the book either way!

Getting close to Fornacis

Review of : 6000 stars By: Bankrupts

‘I wish there weren’t so many words’, she said.
‘But there are never enough words’, I replied.
‘I wish there weren’t so many stars’, she said.
‘Do you mean those only visible with the naked eye? Or all of them - even the ones we can never see?’
With so little unsaid, we parted that night and, like she’d suggested, I joined the army.
Thus goes the closing paragraph of the novella inspired by this song. Its military drums left few other options. He was a poet and she worked in the typing pool, so she’d had her fill of words. Action, or even silence, was what she craved.
But this tune is really what happens when David Byrne gets into his rocking chair and muses while leaving the telly on. Everything seems sad even though the lyrics frequently aren’t. Even the hopefulness sounds hopeless.
Vast plains of emptiness are before us, and a giant sky full of orange. A conversation they’d had before many times was about to resume, beginning at the point where it had been abandoned. But it would not stimulate, because after forty years of marriage, the stars were invisible and the eyes no longer naked, but clothed coldly behind glasses. He had survived the war, and returned to claim her.
‘Come back to the car, Vern. There’s nothing up there’.


Featured Review

A silent conversation with a madman
Life is full of likes and dislikes; stuff which you would like to make better and other stuff that's so much better than you. This tune's a bit like that.
Firstly, I don't like the fact that the drums are not going about establishing a beat for me, it's like they just don't care. Of course, in Experimental one must expect the unexpected, but let's not forget that experiments have parameters. One should also struggle very hard to find flaws in one's theory and anticipated truth.
What I feel is that chaos drumming is something better done in the middle of a song, where a breakdown can come as a relief amidst all the rigidity. It's simply asking too much of a person that they immediately descend into this subconscious mire. After all, I'm not predisposed to allowing someone to explore my pink and bloody insides unless I've been introduced to them first. Preferably by a friend or relative.
Anyway, here's where I'm at.
Definitely on the high balcony of an fashionably bare, pretentious apartment above a night cityscape where lights are swimming like nystagmatic stars . It's probably the future. I'm barely conscious of the chaos of life far beneath me, and all feels rather sane and peaceful, but there's someone behind me, way back in the room, talking like he's wanting to make me aware of some kind of truth. That truth or revelation is painful to him, and it's as if its expression alleviates that.
Just as I begin to accept the voice as a murmuring part of the surroundings, I jump almost out of my skin because he's come right up behind me, close to my ear, shooting up the volume.
'Alright', I think, 'You're right; I wasn't listening. You'd become a rather distracting and vaguely interesting blur'.
But is that such a terrible thing? Isn't it better to soak into the mind with subliminal communications, than push a psychological pamphlet into the hand?
The night's cool, and I draw back from the balcony, where there remains in the room my restless, loquacious companion.
And it satisfies him that although it's only because I have nowhere else to go, at least I didn't look like jumping.
Reviewed By: Krispy
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Re: reviewers extraordinaire!

Postby cjdenecia » Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:18 am

as if I wasn't lost before .....
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Re: reviewers extraordinaire!

Postby meatcigars » Sat Jan 28, 2012 5:29 am

steban wrote:Krispy, thank you for your extraordinairely long reviews!

I will probably make the 6000 stars review a sig, too, it's just a fun read. But I wish I understood the Fornacis reference, are you quoting from a book? Or are you writing a book inspired by the song?

No matter, I'd read the book either way!

Getting close to Fornacis

Review of : 6000 stars By: Bankrupts

‘I wish there weren’t so many words’, she said.
‘But there are never enough words’, I replied.
‘I wish there weren’t so many stars’, she said.
‘Do you mean those only visible with the naked eye? Or all of them - even the ones we can never see?’
With so little unsaid, we parted that night and, like she’d suggested, I joined the army.
Thus goes the closing paragraph of the novella inspired by this song. Its military drums left few other options. He was a poet and she worked in the typing pool, so she’d had her fill of words. Action, or even silence, was what she craved.
But this tune is really what happens when David Byrne gets into his rocking chair and muses while leaving the telly on. Everything seems sad even though the lyrics frequently aren’t. Even the hopefulness sounds hopeless.
Vast plains of emptiness are before us, and a giant sky full of orange. A conversation they’d had before many times was about to resume, beginning at the point where it had been abandoned. But it would not stimulate, because after forty years of marriage, the stars were invisible and the eyes no longer naked, but clothed coldly behind glasses. He had survived the war, and returned to claim her.
‘Come back to the car, Vern. There’s nothing up there’.


Featured Review

A silent conversation with a madman
Life is full of likes and dislikes; stuff which you would like to make better and other stuff that's so much better than you. This tune's a bit like that.
Firstly, I don't like the fact that the drums are not going about establishing a beat for me, it's like they just don't care. Of course, in Experimental one must expect the unexpected, but let's not forget that experiments have parameters. One should also struggle very hard to find flaws in one's theory and anticipated truth.
What I feel is that chaos drumming is something better done in the middle of a song, where a breakdown can come as a relief amidst all the rigidity. It's simply asking too much of a person that they immediately descend into this subconscious mire. After all, I'm not predisposed to allowing someone to explore my pink and bloody insides unless I've been introduced to them first. Preferably by a friend or relative.
Anyway, here's where I'm at.
Definitely on the high balcony of an fashionably bare, pretentious apartment above a night cityscape where lights are swimming like nystagmatic stars . It's probably the future. I'm barely conscious of the chaos of life far beneath me, and all feels rather sane and peaceful, but there's someone behind me, way back in the room, talking like he's wanting to make me aware of some kind of truth. That truth or revelation is painful to him, and it's as if its expression alleviates that.
Just as I begin to accept the voice as a murmuring part of the surroundings, I jump almost out of my skin because he's come right up behind me, close to my ear, shooting up the volume.
'Alright', I think, 'You're right; I wasn't listening. You'd become a rather distracting and vaguely interesting blur'.
But is that such a terrible thing? Isn't it better to soak into the mind with subliminal communications, than push a psychological pamphlet into the hand?
The night's cool, and I draw back from the balcony, where there remains in the room my restless, loquacious companion.
And it satisfies him that although it's only because I have nowhere else to go, at least I didn't look like jumping.
Reviewed By: Krispy


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Re: reviewers extraordinaire!

Postby Krispy » Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:07 pm

steban wrote: But I wish I understood the Fornacis reference

I'ssa star, known better as Alpha Fornacis. Read it somewhere and for some reason always remember it.

Stebs wrote:Or are you writing a book inspired by the song?

Yeah, that one.

I think you should take it as a compliment that listening to your tunes fires my imagination in this way. I also feel completely free to explore those impressions because Experimental music should expect experimental reviews. Of course some people would think that this kind of thing is completely useless, irrelevant and shite, but I'm just no bloody good at all that technical bollocks. I prefer to leave that to thems what know what they're talking about, like Roxi. :mrgreen:
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Re: reviewers extraordinaire!

Postby Krispy » Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:08 pm

Meat wrote:Liquidity provides form and function. Abstract asbestos is really the best of us.

You've done different drugs to me.
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Re: reviewers extraordinaire!

Postby cjdenecia » Mon Jan 30, 2012 1:27 am

Krispy wrote:
Meat wrote:Liquidity provides form and function. Abstract asbestos is really the best of us.

You've done different drugs to me.


methinks he smokes crest toothpaste smothered on a marlboro fag.





























not that there's anything wrong with that.
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