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Thread: Music That Expands Our Horizons

  1. #16
    Senior Member Ducatista47's Avatar
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    Acoustic Guitar Wizards

    Two YouTube compilations by "Guitar Got Talent" that are giving me a lot of artists to check out. It is nice to see many picking up on what Kaki King has created and is creating. While some have obviously listened to John Fahey, it sadly seems there will never be another anywhere close to his genius. Never flashy, his expression was in a class by itself. Combined with his absolutely perfect playing, he was untouchable. If you have a decent streaming service, try Rain Forests, Oceans, And Other Themes.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McnvhGMKWSQ

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVoffoKpEZM
    Information is not Knowledge; Knowledge is not Wisdom
    Too many audiophiles listen with their eyes instead of their ears


  2. #17
    Senior Member Ducatista47's Avatar
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    Anna Calvi - Hunter (2018)

    I never thought I would be able to put a pop/rock offering on this thread. Who could possibly expand our experience of the musical content in the genre of popular songs? Anna Calvi from the UK, that's who. The music in popular recordings is usually restricted to harmless playing to support the almighty vocals and the want-to-be clever lyric. A story set to variations of La-la, La-la and Da-da, Da-da. Everything from "Hot Blooded" to Michael Bolton, that's what is really going on and it sounds like it. Rock licks in ABA patterns don't change that. One would think that if it happened it would be in the Blues end of the spectrum, like Led Zeppelin, rather than the social commentary end, like Billy Joel or Michael Jackson (or Taylor Swift nowadays). As the song goes, "It Hasn't Happened Yet."

    Anna Calvi was different from the start. Fifties and Surf era guitar and powerful, insistent, idiosyncratic singing. Definitely not Blues based. For Calvi, her words were the opportunity to compose a piece of real, honest, music as striking as her singing. As time went on her work became more intense as the dramatic nature of both her singing and her playing became overwhelming enough to banish any pop music DNA, and cuteness, and any danceability from the music. One thing very few bands ever dabbled in was dramatic style vocals or playing. The Doors did it sometimes in an Art School, European Art Song corny way. The Moody Blues did a very mainstream vocal and orchestral brand of drama, a very pop approach. U2's stuff did it for a bit, but mostly with Bono's singing. I don't mean drama like a play, rather dramatic playing and vocal styles.

    Anna is a fully realized multi-instrumentalist; she could be U2 all by herself. On Hunter, she performs all the guitar and vocal work and shares the synth, bass, piano, and percussion duties. Only the occasional strings lack her physical participation. She wrote every bit of the material as well. You would never guess a woman is playing these guitar parts. While that sounds incredibly sexist, if you listen to Hunter in a good system - a necessity, in this case, to hear just how intense her playing has become, YouTube won't touch it - you will see how I mean that. Most of the songs on Hunter are musically more intense than would be ever encountered on the sales charts. Calvi uses dynamics and atmosphere to outstanding effect. Blending in is not in her vocabulary. She is also in that vanishingly rare group who consider their own vocals another instrument in their compositions. To be honest PJ Harvey has regularly broken the pop song mold for a quarter-century, but she is even less likely to show up in the radio/streaming milieu (I can't imagine "Pig Will Not" on any station let alone one that plays Taylor Swift) and Calvi does it while sounding absolutely nothing like Polly Jean.

    As usual, I don't know if a single reader here will like this music, and I expect some will not see a difference from the usual pop music stuff. But I do not think I'm going out on a limb recommending it. Not to sound like a broken record, but I don't see how listeners who find music is very important in their lives and want to try new things could still be without a good streaming service. Twelve bucks a month is nothing next to what cable costs and is less than a restaurant meal or a few cups of decent coffee. Certainly, music is more important than that.

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    Information is not Knowledge; Knowledge is not Wisdom
    Too many audiophiles listen with their eyes instead of their ears


  3. #18
    Senior Member SEAWOLF97's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ducatista47 View Post
    Philip Glass: Akhnaten

    Philip Glass
    ..... That's how I always felt abt his Koyaanisqatsi.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5Hr1C62Smk

    but I also felt that way about the drum solo in Inna-a-godda-da-Vida in 1968

    (only on headphones, tho)
    “If you think that’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard,
    just wait a couple minutes!”

  4. #19
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Re: Anna Calvi - Hunter (2018)

    Thanks Clark! I liked most of the album on my first listen. I kept thinking about what the album would sound like on a pair of "full range" speakers.


    Widget

  5. #20
    Senior Member Ducatista47's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Widget View Post
    Thanks Clark! I liked most of the album on my first listen. I kept thinking about what the album would sound like on a pair of "full range" speakers.


    Widget
    I was listening on my Stax headphone rig, but I will post an update of why my single driver augmented system sounds nothing like your description of such an approach. I'll link as soon as I post it. It's long and boring and not really news to you, but perhaps someone might be interested.

    I am glad you enjoy some of what Anna Calvi is doing. I would hate to give you a bum steer. I could summarise Hunter by saying that pop music-wise if Arianda Grande is at one end of it and Taylor Swift is in the middle, Anna Calvi is at the other end. WAY at the other end. To be subjective, this is a really exciting CD. Every time I listen to it hits me harder.

    http://www.audioheritage.org/vbullet...l=1#post425078
    Information is not Knowledge; Knowledge is not Wisdom
    Too many audiophiles listen with their eyes instead of their ears


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