[Dixielandjazz] Metal & Jazz - Something in common?
LARRY'S Signs and Large Format Printing
sign.guy at charter.net
Mon Dec 27 10:40:25 PST 2004
As the old joke goes they use a lot of the same notes.
When I was young and the guitar craze got started I was like every other kid
and liked the pop music. No more of that Benny Goodman crap for me. I
could actually learn to play the guitar, after all Elvis never used more
than three chords. Well that's not exactly the way it happened for me but
it was the way it happened for millions of kids and musician wannabees. No
more of that take lessons for years before you even start sounding good on a
horn and never mind holding the sticks right. If you can't play good you
can play louder. Loud got louder. The kids said you will listen to me.
Shear numbers drove the serious non guitar playing musician further from the
Today it's still hard for the non guitar band to make it because people just
don't know how to listen to actual music played on real instruments by
actual musicians. One thread that lasted for a long time was the "rudeness
of audiences". They may not be being rude but simply don't know how to
listen to music. In the guitar club scene if you want to talk to someone
you have to do it at the top of your lungs so normal moving around and
talking would be OK. People who actually know how to listen are annoyed by
them. I have been to the Symphony, opera and other concerts where people
talked during the performance. They just don't know how to act. They think
they are OK.
I am so tired of three guitars and a drummer playing tunes that have
indistinct form, few chords and nonsensical two note improvisations that I
Revenge is sweet. Although I won't be around for the final chords to be
played. Look on the bright side Rap music has eliminated the two note
improvs, the two chord tunes, the indistinct form and even the guitar its
self. Is this the music of the future?
I can see it all now. Some kid who is 15 now fifty years from now writing
that he actually remembered that music had notes and there were old guys
around that actually had to put their mouth on things and blow to make
music. UGH YUCK!
Ah the good old days.
PS. You know I think my short description, "two note improvs, the two chord
tunes and the indistinct form", sums it up it much better than the reviewer
(below) who said something about whales in a multi paragraph, intellectually
nonsensical form. Then again I'm not being paid by the word. I'll bet even
the musicians who composed and played the reviewed CD wonder what planet he
is on and are rolling on the floor.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Steve barbone" <barbonestreet at earthlink.net>
To: "DJML" <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Monday, December 27, 2004 8:35 AM
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Metal & Jazz - Something in common?
> For the Music Literati on the DJML. Posted w/o comment. :-) VBG
> Steve Barbone
> December 27, 2004 NY TIMES
> CRITIC'S CHOICE: NEW CD BEN RATLIFF
> Hast Seen the New Metal Album?
> Metal has more than a little in common with jazz, which may be one of the
> reasons I like it.
> I won't connect the dots between improvisational styles in jazz and metal,
> though I know several metal-loving jazz musicians who could. But here are
> the facts: both kinds of music have a few big, durable, long-haul names -
> Metallica, Ozzy Osbourne, Wynton Marsalis, Keith Jarrett (I have never
> those proper nouns in a row before) - and, miles beneath them, hundreds of
> good-to-great bands that are the beneficial termites of American culture,
> gradually breaking down dead styles and returning them to the soil. To
> small but deep audiences, they are loved, reviled, subdivided endlessly
> styles and argued about passionately.
> Both kinds of musicians, jazz and metal, are deeply concerned with
> technique, and deal with essential aesthetic issues of style and progress.
> There is a dominant sound (or several) in jazz, as there is in metal, and
> for the last 20 years adjustments to those dominant sounds have been made
> a much slower rate. (Does this mean the genres are exhausted? No. It means
> that the musicians' perceptions of the music's needs have changed.)
> To an outsider, great swaths of metal sound just about the same. Ditto
> Generally speaking, both kinds of music rest on an underground, highly
> premise in the if-you-have-to-ask-you'll-never-know category.
> These circumstances make it possible for a great metal record to appear
> without the larger world of popular music ever knowing about it.
> (Relapse), the second album by the Atlanta band Mastodon, has so far been
> that kind of record.
> Let's get the concept out of the way quickly. "Leviathan" is a song cycle
> based on Herman Melville's "Moby-Dick." The band's drummer, Brann Dailor,
> was reading the novel last year and came across the early passage that
> the whale "the salt-sea Mastodon"; after that, the rest of the book seemed
> like a metaphor for a small crew of manic, undershowered rock musicians on
> tour. (The whale is the audience, if you like, or maybe the elusive
> of hard-rock apotheosis.) The directly Melville-related lyrics on
> "Leviathan" appear early. The line "There's magic in the water that
> all men" roars over a crooked riff in "I Am Ahab." Others apply by
> extension: "Island" invokes the old metal themes of Norse gods and
> eruptions, and the lyrics of "Hearts Alive" are generally about watery
> But what's fantastic about "Leviathan" is that it sums up the last three
> decades of hard rock - a great width of styles, bludgeoning and tricky,
> Metallica to Iron Maiden to King Crimson to Black Flag to Black Sabbath -
> with incredible acuity, extracting a great deal of what has been most
> effective in them.
> Yet the music doesn't seem like a dull exercise in classicism or position
> itself above the form altogether. Mastodon comes from an intellectual
> underground of the genre: Mr. Dailor and Bill Kelliher, one of the band's
> guitarists, were once in Today Is the Day, a kind of severe art-rock band.
> There can be a queasy air of superiority in the studied under-productions
> and over-cogitations of underground metal, whether it's the kind that
> with polymetric rhythms or the kind that deliberately repeats a droning
> more times than you thought possible.
> You don't find that in "Leviathan." Mastodon has nearly mastered rock
> dynamics: they start out with durable riffs, build them up, then tunnel
> tricky new strains of frenetic melody, diverting your attention from the
> payoff. When the reward finally comes, it is gold-plated, returning home
> the viscous riff and the earthquake groove. (The music is written
> cooperatively by the four band members, who include Troy Sanders on bass
> the guitarist Brent Hinds; the dense, shiny production is by Matt Bayles.)
> Mr. Dailor occasionally plays much more complex fills than he needs to.
> These songs hold together through a thought-out symmetry, but they do have
> many parts. One of the guitarists plays a careening country lick during a
> break in "Megalodon," after a line about a watery grave, and before a fast
> Iron Maiden-like two-beat rhythm. There's so much flash and detail. Yet
> through the record they keep serving the bottom level, the no-nonsense
> headbanger frequencies of metal.
> The record keeps those questions in the air that keep an album
> Who are these guys? What's their angle? Who allowed them to do this many
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