Sunday, August 19, 2007

feeling nostalgic for Prog-rock pond scum set to bum me out

taryl: i can't tell if it was just the period in my life or if there was something about the times listening to the old King Crimson
Ginger Haired Yank: it's you. the songs all sound the same!
taryl: that's because i was playing 3 different versions of epitaph.
Ginger Haired Yank: i knew they all sounded the same.

My step-brother thumbed his nose at "21st century schizoid man" as a bunch of negative words strung together meaning nothing (he was also critical of many of Dylan's songs for similar reason). As an adult i'd have to agree with his critique, but the song does kick ass. My other step-brother looked down his nose at "21st century schizoid man" and tried to remember a superior song about "20th century man". Years later when we had lost contact, I purchased Muswell Hillbillies, and realized that the song was 20th Century Man - far superior lyrics that have aged extremely well "i was born in a welfare state. ruled by bureaucracy & controlled by civil servants and people dressed in grey. got no privacy. got no liberty. cause the 20th century people took them all away from me". When i come across smart modern writers such as Eggers or DeLillo the line "you keep all your smart modern writers" always comes to mind.

But i digress. Recently a friend lent me Epitaph Vol 1-2. McDonald later regretted leaving & wondered if they might have put out better music, but my suspicion is that their first album would have been the high water mark for the group even if McDonald & Giles had stayed. That effort managed to capture some zeitgeist & while other songs such as "Sheltering Sky" are musically superb, the emotional connection that existed with "In the Court of the Crimson King" just doesn't exist with any of their other albums. As an adult I can discern more of what makes the album work - sax/guitar duels, flute following power cords. A unique sound that also kicked ass.

Will agree with my step-brother that Sinfield's lyrics were never that good, but after all these years it is easy to answer the best lyric from the best song he ever wrote - no no one will lay a laurel wreath no matter how often silence drowns the screams.

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