Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Honestly, you go off for a few days and it goes ballistic: ah yes all that repressed air-guitaring, rockist, phallocratic and masturbatory nonsense rearing its throbbingly empurpled head from behind even the most demure of facades. Luckily I still have a few gems left in my arsenal. Like the mixed metaphor and the oh-so-telling use of military terminology?! That’s right, my love of guitar solos is just one more sad example of my hateful apolitical misogyny/ pitiful homosocial blokishness/ lack of solidarity with progressive social movements! Wish evil upon me in your boiling mind!

Good to see some Steely Dan love out there. Good to see some Fripp/Belew Crimson stuff and plenty of Run DMC.

I have one, possibly two more posts left in me after this (note the idea of posts somehow being ejaculatory? Cultural nutsack symbolically shrivelled and ransacked testes squeaking in hamsterish dismay as I heroically try to semi-flaccidly batter up one last “mosquito’s tear” worth of inspiration?) although my favourite guitar bit EVA isn’t available online.. shame.. I’ll see if I can wrangle some way of uploading it or something…

I’m now going to go slightly beyond the pale, (call it perhaps, the Knopflereffect). That’s right it’s the (Brian) May Day (Guitar) Wank Holiday.



CHOOOOOOON!!!!!!!!!!

I’d like to pretend that I don’t like Queen. Or rather that I appreciate the artistry of the ArchDeacon on bass (Rapper’s Delight and all that) and find the rest deeply naff and embarrassing. Yep I know they’re all Tories. Yep, Sun City and all that…Yep One Vison and stuff….but I bet you’re still listening to Beyonce despite her playing in Lybia… or Whitehouse, despite them being Nazi scum, because ahh…. I see …. they’re not formally conservative....

And I really like the spinsterish Victorian whimsy to the playing on this fine fellow.



Yes, that’s right. Spinsterish Victorian whimsy! There’s something oddly pursed-lipped, prudish and anally puckered in May’s solos, no matter how long they are. He’s a kind of sober, slightly prissy and ascetic player. That’s right, I don’t find Queen bombastic. Now I know that’s a bit like suggesting that the sky is not blue, nor water wet, but still they seem to me to have an essential English reserve at their core which means that yes, they charm me…

Surprised this hasn’t cropped up yet. Too obvious? Maybe, but there you go. Scary Monsters is another one of those albums where you’re spoiled for choice really. Fripp’s solo album from around the time was alright wasn’t it? I used to have it. He was slagged off for wearing a skinny tie and trying to cop some of that oh-so-cool new wave and post punk action, but you’d have to ask yourself what the punks or even the post-punks were doing that Fripp wasn’t, except somehow not being “dinosaurs”.



And while we’re at it I suppose another track from the embarrassment of riches that is King Crimson’s Discipline is kind of inevitable: this one I now know, due to my highly developed Japanese language skills, much in evidence at the weekend there! means “please wait”. The fact that Belew gets no love whatsoever from anyone seems downright wrong to me (though he is a kind of musician’s musician innee?) Great voice too!






Best PIL Album? Metal Box? Not round Impostume towers, it’s the really rather rockist Album. What’s that, the one with the repugnant Steve Vai solos all over it and Ginger Baker on drums? Yep! I actually know nothing about Vai’s work elsewhere.. I did once see a video of him dressed as a native American Indian playing his axe atop a towering crag as eagles circled above and that kind of….. put me off, y’know, but his stuff on Album is awesome. Album must be one of the greatest rock albums of all time, right? No doubt it was all chopped up and refitted in the studio by Laswell (another pariah figure to right-thinkers though personally I have no idea why.) It’s kind of pick a track, any track time…






Richard Thompson is as we all surely know, a ginger and spryly capering god among men, like the lyrics, like the voice, LOVE the kangol hat, can’t get enough of the guitar on Hard On Me, which at some point he appears to be playing backwards and inside out simultaneously while wearing magically lambent mittens of purest mercury bequethen unto him by the High Priests of planet Fretboard.



One last bit of Steely Dan? It’d be wrong not to wouldn’t it? When oh when are they going to get that Terrorizer cover?

5 comments:

Zone Styx Travelcard said...

Belew played all the solos on Remain in Light I think. And 'Big Electric Cat' is great, especially when played loud. It's pretty much guitar magazine wank from the mid-80s onwards... isn't it?

W. Kasper said...

The Remain In Light solos are awesome! They fit in sooo nicely with the whole p-funk/afrobeat vibe.

I'm no fan of Zappa - but Steve Vai did some awesome stuff in his band.

As for Laswell - wasn't it a wee backlash against the monumental hype he got in the 80s? I remember Rick Rubin (wayyy back) stating "I don't wanna end up as a flavour of the month producer - like Bill Laswell".

Can't say many of his (dated, strangely flat) productions do much for me - apart from 'Album' which really was a stomping rock beast. That one-world dub stuff and his Miles Davis remixes were the essence of bland.

But all in all, this whole axe-wank link fest has been thoroughly informative and enjoyable!

Greyhoos said...

Yeah, a number of Remain in Light tunes came to mind when I was trying to come up w/ something for this round. Also, I've long been fond of "No Compassion" from '77.

And was there a Laswell backlash? If so, he deserved it on a number of counts -- more than I care to list.

And wondering: tell me all the wang-wagging references don't trace back to some of those remarks I made earlier -- such as the one about my missing a key chromosome in these matters. Cos those remarks were directed at myself than at anyone else.

carl said...

GAHHH! just posted a long response and blogger ate it...

essentially i said.. Sam... yes more wankish the later stuff but still ok for me.. desire caught by the tail is by all accounts his best tho not heard it


laswell.. understand the objections...but sometimes they don't impinge on my enjoyment of suff by material or praxis and i rather rate "soundsystem"

carl said...

GAHHH! just posted a long response and blogger ate it...

essentially i said.. Sam... yes more wankish the later stuff but still ok for me.. desire caught by the tail is by all accounts his best tho not heard it


laswell.. understand the objections...but sometimes they don't impinge on my enjoyment of suff by material or praxis and i rather rate "soundsystem"