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Most difficult to listen to albums?

Discussion in 'music' started by JTC, Aug 13, 2003.

  1. JTC

    JTC PFM Villager...

    In a nutshell, the key difference between Zappa and the majority of modern musical 'artistes' is that Zappa straddled the difficult middle ground between populist and avant garde. The fact he dressed it up with silly lyrics is secondary - and even he admitted this on several occasions.

    I always like to think of Uncle Frank as a kind of cross between a dynamic conductor (wild hair, funny 'tache, big nose) and a circus ringleader (wild hair, funny 'tache, big nose). His main instrument was the orchestra, he just had a rather unusual combination of instruments in it.

    jtc who has always been an admirer and fan of FZ
  2. timH

    timH Senior Moment Member

    Trout Mask Replica is pretty difficult but the rest of his stuff seems fine to me - better than fine - Clear Spot would be on my desert island list and if I could only take one track it would have to be Big Eyed Beans from Venus. He's probably still alive check out the radar station...here and this tribute album
  3. sideshowbob

    sideshowbob 47 Lab Rat

    Trout Mask doesn't sound at all difficult if you give it more than a few casual listens. I first heard it circa 1980, thought it was odd but intriguing, kept listening to it, and it soon became one of my favourite records (it was, in fact, my first intro to Beefheart).

    I agree with timh, however - anyone who wants to find out about Beefheart and wants some fabulous immediate thrills should get Clear Spot. Big Eyed Beans From Venus is awe-inspiring.

    -- Ian
  4. space cadet

    space cadet dronefed and floating

    Does that mean that you're selling it cheap? I've got a few of theirs but not that one. I saw NNCK with Vibracatheral Orchestra a few weeks ago in Leeds and there were indeed several moments of magic.
    If you want something a little bit easier to get into I'd like to recommend you some Pelt or Charalambides... or some early 70s Japanese drone improv... Taj Mahal Travellers or East Bionic Symphonia.
  5. domfjbrown

    domfjbrown pfm Member

    It was certainly "intriguing" - I'm willing to give it another go - straight this time - as I don't think I gave it a fair go. I wasn't really in the mindset to appreciate something so avante garde at the time - I was more after 60s rawk or 90s downtempo trance at that moment of the day...
  6. duncan

    duncan ...

    One of the people who I share a lab with just put on their 'Classical Chill-out Album'. Fcuking unlistenable rubbish. All the cliches. It got me so angry I had to pull rank (which I don't do very often) and demand silence! Give me Einstürzende Neubauten anyday.
  7. TomF

    TomF pfm Member

    No way! I just need the time to devote to it. Unfortunately the nature of my working life means that I am able to devote less time to listening to music than I'd like. Consequently, it's often not at the top of the list when there's a spare half hour. That said, I shall get up early on sunday and annoy the neighbours with it.

    Thanks for the recommendations. I shall search them out. Any specific albums?
  8. dss

    dss Musical Bons

    The 50 Cd box set Merzbox by Merbow.

    (well from waht I have of his work anyway)


    ITC Pole - Pole
  9. space cadet

    space cadet dronefed and floating

    I really really want the Merzbox... £500 though... I'll get the Day of Seals 4xcd at £22 instead I think!
    TomF you've got a PM.
  10. dss

    dss Musical Bons

    The recent Merzbeat Cd actually had a beat in some places!

    Jack Danger of MBM was invovled in one of the tracks.

    I have Ikebana , a 2 CD remix set from Amlux in myh to be listen to pile.


    OTD - Czukay - The New Millennium
  11. OffColour

    OffColour pfm Member

    Dillinger Escape Plan - "Calculating Infinity"

    First listen "What the hell was that??"
    Second listen "Hmm, a bit of melody"
    Third listen "Ah, now I get it!"

  12. Paul Mc

    Paul Mc pfm Member

    Song X by Ornette Coleman and Pat Metheny. (I tried and tried)

    A Faust album which I do not know the name of.

  13. snowflake

    snowflake Former Albino Ape

    TMR is a fantastic album.................heavy hallucinogens are probably required to "focus" the work :).....

    I saw a documentary on that there TV once and it transpires that Beefheart had the magic band imprisoned in a shed in the woods for rehearsal, only one of them was allowed out for supplies.

    It was then done in one take in the studio , much to the amazement of Frank Zappa..

  14. Eric L

    Eric L pfm Member

    I find that Trout Mask Replica is emotionally engaging; the emotion comes in the moments of "resolution", where the apparent disharmony gives way to a simple straightforward blues sound (for example) -- if only for a few seconds.

    It's an emotional effect akin to that generated by a lot of thematically dense but dissonant classical works. For instance, Bartok's 3rd Quartet is an incredibly dense and cerbral work at first hearing, but there are striking moments of resolution, most notably in the coda, when the first violin recapitulates its theme in C# major after 15 minutes of dissonant C# minor development.

    A similar emotional effect occurs at the end of the wedding feast in Stravinsky's Les Noces, when the bride suddenly starts singing that simple, plaintive russian folk song. Although Les Noces is an allegedly difficult work, the effect of this song is emotionally quite powerful precisely because of the dense, polythematic dissonance that preceded it.

    I can think of a lot of examples of this kind of emotional resolution in difficult, cerbral, white-boy music, actually (Shostakovich, Schnittke, Prokofiev, Penderecki, etc.). It's sort of like a heroin addict torturing himself by withholding the smack until he can't stand it, in order to amplify the subsequent rush.

    So I guess I don't quite buy the white-boy-brainy/black-boy-soul thing.

    Incidentally David, Merzbox doesn't count as music. I know that seems presumptuous of me to say but I've heard a bit of it and -- no. ;)
  15. joel

    joel Painter of Dragons, Maker of Mirrors

    Black music has soul and brains. An unbeatable combination that now rules the world, even if in hideously tortured and diluted white boy pastiche.
  16. Mick Seymour

    Mick Seymour Member

    I had a copy of this when I was a teenager, purely because it was cool to have a copy. I never understood it though, but I guess I never will because someone stole it. I much prefer PF's DSOTM onwards.

    These days, I have major trouble getting on with the Chemical Brothers. I bought one of their CD's (forget which) that was being touted as a great system workout. That one, I gave away, only because I couldn't find anyone to steal it!

    Oddly, these are the only two records I remember buying for reasons other than music. Strange that.


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